Issue 8, Winter 2011
G P N S T O R Y
Iran has unveiled, for the first time publicly an
underground launch site for Shihab 3 missiles. These are missiles that
can be used to attack Israel.
In the broadcast, a senior officer in the Space Command' of the
Revolutionary Guards is photographed landing in a conventional aircraft
at the site of the launcher, going down steps underground, where he
visits a huge hanger that houses the Shihab 3 on a launcher. The
pictures suggest that the launching can be completed from the
underground position without the missile being brought to the surface.
It also appears that the Iranians are able to fuel the missile
An Israeli flight and space engineer commented on the Iranian screening
that it confirms for the first time publicly previous evaluations of
Western intelligence services about Iran having underground launch
facilities. He said that it has usually been the policy to hold
missiles with conventional heads in storage houses and to have them
mobile so as to be able to evade attacks by enemies. The Iranian
initiative, said the expert, testifies to the fact that Iran is
organizing the capacity for wide-ranging attacks.
In July Iranian news agencies reported that Iran launched two long range missiles into the Indian Ocean this past February. Iran has been claiming for some time that it has rockets with a range of 2000 kilometers but a report of an actual launch represented a new step. Haaretz analyst-reporter, Amos Harel, notes that this range allows Iran not only to hit Israel, and of course targets in the Persian Gulf, but also targets on the European mainland.
A United Nations panel of experts has stated that over the past year Iran clearly has stepped up its pace to develop long-range missiles. The panel was convened by the UN Security Council a year ago in connection with the consideration of sanctions against Iran's nuclear development. The report cites reliable sources that North Korea transferred missile technology to Iran via China.
Haaretz' Amos Harel reports also that Iran has provided Hizbollah in Lebanon with medium-range missiles of about 200 km that have the capacity to hit the Tel Aviv area with some degree of precision when launched from Lebanon.
Harel, Amos (July 13, 2011). Iran reports successful launch of long-range missiles capable of reaching 2000 kilometers.
Haaretz English Edition.
Harel, Amos (June 28, 2011). Iran reveals publicly for the first time
an underground launch site for Shihab 3 missiles: A missile that can
reach targets in Israel. Haaretz (Hebrew).
Erdbrink, Thomas (June 28, 2011). Iran test-fires missiles, shows secret silos. Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/iran-test-fires-missiles-shows-secret-silos/2011/06/28/AGFRoApH_story.html
Dareini, Ali Akbar (June 27, 2011). Iran
Underground Missile Silos Unveiled.
Harel, Amos (June 10, 2011). United Nations: Iran accelerating development of long-range missiles.
Haaretz English Edition.