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June 26, 2020 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1518

The Iran-U.S. Conflict: Iran Is Working On Obtaining Strategic Capability – Long-Range Missiles And Nuclear Submarines

June 26, 2020 | By A. Savyon
Iran | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1518

Introduction

In recent months, the Iranian regime has suffered several grave geostrategic setbacks: the killing of IRGC Qods Force commander and the Iranian regime's No. 2 man Qassem Soleimani, who was in charge of actualizing the regime's goal of exporting Iran's Islamic Revolution; the weakening of Iran's grip in Iraq with the establishment of the government of the pro-U.S. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi; and the deepening of Iran's economic crisis due to tougher U.S. sanctions, the nosedive in oil prices, and the sharp devaluation of the country's currency, along with the widespread damage to Iran’s regime, economy, and society caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite these blows, the Iranian regime is demonstrating its activity and progress in three  strategic areas: ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines, and intensification of its uranium enrichment, alongside its refusal to allow intrusive inspection of its facilities.

In April 2020, the IRGC launched a military satellite, and Iranian Army Air Force commander Gen. Hossein Khanzadi said that building nuclear submarines for military purposes was on the agenda of Iran's armed forces. Notably, in his statements he used the term "second-strike capability," which refers to the launch of a nuclear bomb after being targeted by a nuclear strike.

In January 2020, in response to the U.S.'s killing of Gen. Soleimani, Iran announced publicly that it would no longer be bound by the limitations set out for it in the JCPOA nuclear deal, and that it would enrich uranium in accordance with its needs. A June 2020 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report confirmed that Iran had indeed violated the commitments it undertook in the deal: it possesses 1,500 kg of uranium enriched to 4.5% – in contrast to the 300 kg enriched to 3.67%, suitable for generating electricity, allowed under the nuclear deal – and for the past year it has refused to allow IAEA inspectors access to facilities where military nuclear activity is suspected.

The removal of the civilian cloak from the Iranian regime's strategic programs, and its senior officials' public announcement that these programs are for military purposes, constitutes a significant shift in policy. Now, the regime is choosing to publicly reveal its strategic capability, inter alia in order to signal that the Islamic revolutionary regime will not submit to the Western powers or Western culture. Thus, the Iranian regime is letting it be known, particularly to the U.S., that not only is it not capitulating to American demands, but that it is continuing to build its might and to implement its revolutionary ideology.

This report will focus on recent revelations by the leaders of the Iranian regime regarding the regime's progress towards achieving strategic ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines, and what it means.

The Meaning Of Iran's Unveiling Of Its Strategic Capability: The Iranian Nuclear Program Is Military; The Regime Has Abolished The 2,000-Km Limitation On The Range Of Its Missiles

Iran's Nuclear Program Is Military

Iranian naval commander Khanzadi's statements about Iran's intent to build nuclear submarines reveals in essence that Iran's nuclear program is for military purposes. If previously regime spokesmen explained that the regime needs the submarines for "transferring goods" (see MEMRI reports below), Khanzadi's April 2020 statements now make it clear that the regime is working on a nuclear submarine for military purposes in order to assure peace and security for Iran and for the region. Asking "what superpower can prevent us from [attaining] this capability such that we cannot defend ourselves and establish peace?", Khanzadi went on to say that "a submarine is considered second-strike [capability]," explaining that if the enemy attacks a base, a nuclear submarine "concealed a great distance away can attack the enemy in a place he never considered." (For previous statements by regime spokesman on Iran's need for a nuclear submarine, see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1390, In Advance Of Iran's April 9 'Nuclear Technology Day': Developments In Iran's Nuclear Program, Deviations From JCPOA, April 10, 2018 and Inquiry and Analysis No. 885, Tehran Declares Intent To Enrich Uranium To 90% For Military Purposes – Nuclear Submarines, September 27, 2012).

It is notable that even now the regime is violating the 2015 nuclear agreement by significantly exceeding the stockpile of enriched uranium it is permitted to hold – 300 kg enriched to 3.67% -- and it has accumulated some 1,500 kg of uranium enriched to 4.5%. This quantity gives the regime a nuclear breakout time – the time required to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear bomb – within four months.

In the past year, Iran has implemented a considered and systematic policy of rendering the JCPOA meaningless. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced, on September 4, 2019, Iran's third withdrawal from its obligations under the agreement, that focused on the cancellation of the timetables to which Iran committed under the agreement and the renewal and acceleration of Iranian research and development operations with no limitations whatsoever. On November 5, 2019, Iran announced its fourth step in reducing its obligations under the JCPOA, which included renewed uranium enrichment at the Fordo facility and the operation of advanced-generation centrifuges, which will allow it to double and triple its future enrichment capability (see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1478, Despite The JCPOA, Iran Accelerates Its Nuclear Research And Development – While The U.S., After Leaving The JCPOA, In Fact Preserves It With Waivers For Member Countries Allowing Them To Help Iran Continue Civilian Nuclear Development, October 10, 2019 and Inquiry and Analysis No. 1481, Even As UK, France Acknowledge That Iran Is Violating The JCPOA, The Trump Administration, After Ostensibly Withdrawing From It, Continues To Preserve It – By Means Of Its Waivers For Civilian Nuclear Cooperation With Iran, November 6, 2019). Furthermore, for the past year the regime has refused to give IAEA inspectors access to facilities suspected of conducting military activity in the early 2000s, as noted in the IAEA Board Report of June 20, 2020.

It should be emphasized that Iran is refusing to allow IAEA inspection of activities related to the detonation of a nuclear explosive device, which, under Section T of the JCPOA, on "activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device" is permitted under certain conditions: if  it is "approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes"  and is "subject to monitoring." Iran is not allowing the IAEA to oversee this and is rejecting the agency's right to do so (See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 180, How Iran Deceived The U.S. Intelligence Community – Part II: Iran Does Not Allow The IAEA To Monitor The Most Critical Area Of Its Nuclear Project – Developing A Nuclear Explosive Device (Section T In The JCPOA), March 18, 2019 and Inquiry and Analysis No, 1351, Trump's 'New Strategy On Iran': The Price Of Indecision Is Accepting The Reality Of A Nuclear Iran, With Its Regional Expansion – Which Will Result In Escalation Of Its Political And Military Activity Against The U.S., October 19, 2017).

It will be recalled that in November 2019, Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary of the Iran Judiciary's High Council for Human Rights, told Iranian Channel 2 TV that his country "can easily obtain nuclear weapons, but we don't want any." He also called on the regime to change its declared nuclear strategy (i.e., its peaceful character), to reject all nuclear obligations in light of its complaints regarding the EU3’s failure to meet their obligations after the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the agreement, and even to discuss the question of Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Iran Cancels Its Restrictions On Its Missiles' Range

Iran's "Noor" military satellite was launched in April 2020 by the IRGC, unlike in the past when such test launches were carried out by a civilian research body. This showed that Iran has the capability to launch ballistic missiles with a range of more than 2,000 km, thus effectively eradicating the voluntary restrictions limiting missile range to 2,000 km announced by the Iranian regime during the nuclear negotiations with the Obama administration in order to forestall suspicion on the part of the European countries and the U.S.

IRGC commander Hossein Salami explained in April 2020, with the launch of the missile and satellite, that the message of Iran and the IRGC is that "we are determined to expand our defensive might, on land, on the sea, and in space."[1] Earlier, in February 2019, he had said: "Our missile strength is completely open and infinite – in structure, organization, development, quantity, and quality. We have set no limits for developing this strength. The countries with a hostile and controlling policy vis-à-vis Iran must fear our response."[2] Other senior Iranian military officials stressed that there were no limits on the range of Iran's missiles.

The regime mouthpiece Kayhan boasted, on May 4, 2020, about the strategic achievement of the military satellite's launch into space, calling it "a component of [Iran’s] space program that shows that the Americans are unaware of the scope [of this program]… and that the Islamic Republic has surpassed all the limitations of the nuclear agreement."[3]

Defense Minister Khatami: "In Another Few Years, We'll Have A Stronger, Invulnerable State"

In a December 19, 2019 speech at the Imam Khomeini Naval University of Noshahr, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami said that Iran aspired to develop strategic means for warfare that would make it invulnerable: "The world's need for energy has enhanced sensitivity of the situation, and the Islamic Revolution has created a double sensitivity. The solution for this issue is to be strong – otherwise we will not manage to meet this challenge. The aim is to attain strategic force. Missile, air, and sea strength is an important characteristic. We are a thorn in the enemy's eye as far as missile strength is concerned, and they have agreed to the impact of this strength, saying, 'We want to talk with you.' The enemies must know that if they make a mistake, they will receive an incredible response. This year, we unveiled the Yassin aircraft, designed completely by Iranians, and we have other aeronautics plans that will surprise the enemy. We are on a track that will provide and manufacture all the equipment of the navy and the army within Iran, and we have a detailed plan for manufacturing heavier ships and submarines.


Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami (Source: Tasnim.ir, December 19, 2019)

"When we want to talk with the others, if we have the appropriate powerful equipment we will be better able to talk... I’m certain that in another two or three years, we won't need to export oil, and the matters connected with financial affairs will be resolved soon, in the world and in Iran. In another few years, we'll have a stronger, invulnerable state."[4]

Nuclear Submarines For Military Purposes

Iranian Army Naval Commander Hossein Khanzadi: "Submarines Are Considered Second-Strike [Capability]... The [Nuclear-]Powered Submarine Development Program Is Definitely On The Navy's Agenda"

In an interview with the Iranian news agency ISNA on April 16, 2020, Iranian Army naval commander Hossein Khanzadi expanded on Iran's need for nuclear submarines. He said that Iran was striving to obtain military capabilities that would enable it to maintain peace in the region.

Referring to "the Iranian Navy’s capabilities to manufacture nuclear submarines," Khanzadi said: "Iran’s position in the debate on nuclear energy is very clear, and Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei has stressed many times that Iran’s nuclear energy is for peaceful purposes. All the apparatuses of the regime and the government act within the framework agreed-upon for the nuclear program. None of the international conventions forbid the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. But when we speak of peace, this is meaningless without defense capabilities. When there is no deterrence and no defense readiness, peace is not solid and stable, and that is why countries have armed forces, to keep [the state of] peace stable.

"The issue of defense and war is the next phase, and that is why we need equipment so that peace will be stable. In this context, we can ensure the security of our country and of the international community by employing committed manpower and using this equipment. Our country is beset by many threats. When we see American aircraft-carriers in the region today, we must know that they are nuclear-powered, which enables them to remain at sea for up to six months [at  stretch]. Otherwise, they would have had to return to port very soon to refuel, and then set out again."

He added: "What superpower can prevent us from [attaining] this capability such that we cannot defend ourselves and establish peace?"

Khanzadi explained: "There are three kinds of submarine propulsion. The first is diesel submarines... , which stay underwater for a limited period before they have to come up to recharge their batteries and refresh their crews. Alternatively, they can remain deep underwater and send their diesel-engine’s snorkels above the surface in order to recharge their batteries. At this point the submarine can be identified by various means, and the way to deal with this is by [enabling it] to remain underwater longer and stay farther away [from base].

To this end a different [non-nuclear] propulsion [system] was created, called air-independent propulsion. This propulsion [system] uses a special kind of fuel that generates energy using a combination of several chemicals. Using this [fuel], while also generating electricity, allows recharging the battery and keeping the submarine in motion. However, the submarine can still stay underwater for [only] a limited amount of time: about two or three times [longer] than the [ordinary] diesel-type [submarines], which are also limited.“  


Iranian Army Air Force commander Gen. Hossein Khanzadi (ISNA, Iran, April 16, 2020)

Khanzadi noted that “submarines are considered second-strike [capability],” adding: "If the enemy attacks a base, a submarine concealed a great distance away can attack the enemy in a place he never considered. [For this] feature, the submarine needs a special type of propulsion, and if [this special propulsion] is nuclear, then that's what is needed."  

Stating that many countries in the world use nuclear propulsion (though currently only six countries -- the U.S., Russia, France, the UK, China, and India -- have these submarines), Khanzadi added: "If the Islamic Republic does not think of using nuclear-powered submarines, it will be remiss, and that is why we are considering this. The ability to build submarines larger than the Fateh[-class submarines] is locally available to [Iran’s] Defense Ministry. A plan for developing [nuclear-]powered submarines is definitely on the navy’s agenda."[5] 

The IRGC's Launch Of Its Noor Military Satellite

IRGC Commander Salami: “The Message Conveyed By The Successful Launch Of This Satellite Into Space Is That We Are Determined To Expand Our Defensive Might On Land, On The Sea, And In Space"

On April 23, 2020, IRGC commander Salami said: "The message conveyed by the successful launch of the [Noor] satellite into space is that we are determined to expand our defensive might on land, on the sea, and in space. We will never stop, and every day advanced new strengths will emerge in the IRGC. We are determined to use all our abilities and talent to defend the vital interests of the Iranian people. We  will respond effectively, securely and decisively to any threat to our national security and territorial integrity. We will not stop [advancing] on this path, but will continue, with God’s help."[6]

To view a clip of his statements on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

IRGC Aerospace Command Ali Jafarabadi: "Regarding The Carrier Missiles, We Will Consider A Higher Orbit And Heavier [Missiles]"

In a June 8, 2020 interview with the Tasnim news agency, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Command, Ali Jafarabadi, referred to the April 22, 2020 launch of the Noor satellite using a surface-to-surface carrier missile, and the advantages of using a solid-fuel propelled rocket for this purpose. "One of the advantages of solid fuel is how quickly it is ready [for launch], and that its serviceable life is long, extending the life of solid fuel engines. But it is very difficult to control. That is, once the engine is operating, it continues to burn and its reliability cannot be controlled...  Today, solid fuel's disadvantages have been minimized thanks to careful monitoring by the children [of the revolution] who direct [the launch], and its advantages are growing. God willing, we will use it for future launches."

Regarding the Qased 2 carrier missile, he said: "The Qased 2's [ultimate] aim is for its first stage engine, [which is now] liquid-fueled, to be replaced by [one that is] solid-fueled. Obviously, it will also be optimized and [re]designed so that it can place larger and heavier satellites into a higher earth orbit... The Noor is completely Iran-made.

"In the coming phases, we will use larger satellites in higher orbits, and, regarding the carrier missiles, we will think about a higher orbit and heavier [missiles]... In the future we will enter [the field of] communication relays and navigation devices requiring larger satellites in higher orbits... Incidentally, one of the reasons for the American's anger is that the IRGC launch of the [Noor] satellite took them by surprise. We showed that we are capable of moving ahead, accurately and powerfully, wherever we want, through in-depth study of classified matters."[7]


IRGC Aerospace Commander Ali Jafarabadi (Tasnim, Iran, June 8, 2020)

Kayhan: The Launch Of The Satellite Using An IRGC Missile Is A Strategic Success

In the April 25, 2020 editorial of the regime mouthpiece Kayhan, titled "The IRGC on Land and in the Sky," Sadollah Zarei wrote: "The launch of the satellite is considered a strategic event, and that is why the American authorities responded immediately and at the highest level, and even claimed that the [UN] Security Council must respond to the IRGC's action [because] it violated UNSC Resolution 2231. Prior to Iran's move [i.e. the satellite launch] on April 22, 2020, [only] 10 countries in the world had the full cycle of space technologies. Iran is considered the 11th, and therefore [President] Trump's and [Secretary of State] Pompeo's response, and the accusations against Iran, seem odd and illogical – because this activity is legitimate when carried out by [those] 10 countries, why isn’t it legitimate when the 11th country engages in it?

"For the Americans, this [Iranian] action is considered a failure of theirs vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic. The launch of the satellite into space and its placing in orbit using an IRGC missile is a strategic success, not only in the military sphere but in the industry and high technology spheres...

"The importance of Iran's action of launching the satellite lies in the fact that Iran has succeeded, on its own, to break through the Western obstacle blocking its scientific progress, because Iranian access to nuclear technology could not be tolerated by the West. That is why [the West] considers this action a dangerous strategy...

"In fact, the IRGC's success in launching a satellite into orbit showed not only that the [American] sanctions have failed to halt Iran's progress, but that the 'Iranian model' is still an example for the world. The IRGC's sophisticated scientific work combining solid and liquid propellant, and its use in the construction of the carrier missile, show that the IRGC’s strategic military level is [equal to] that of [the world's] leading armies. This is despite the fact that last year America tried to hobble the IRGC by adding it to [its] list of terrorists."[8]  

Kayhan: “Iran Has Attained The Ability To Independently Manufacture Secret And Top-Secret Weapons; The  Intercontinental Missile Technology Used To Launch The Satellite Is A Source Of Concern For [The Americans]… [The Launch] Shows That The Islamic Republic Has Surpassed All The Constraints Of The Nuclear Agreement”

Kayhan’s May 4, 2020 editorial stated that “Iran has even attained the independent ability to manufacture secret and top-secret weapons. [And] now, in a ridiculous statement, [the Americans] want to prevent the selling of ordinary and basic weapons [to Iran]! That is why, in addition to its media and psychological dimensions, this [American] plan has three covert goals: First, [the Americans] do not fear the selling [of weapons] to Iran, but rather the purchase of Iranian weapons by [other] countries in the region, including the precision missiles stored in underground cities, advanced radars, and the top-secret weapons that downed America’s most advanced and modern drone!… The Americans are not concerned about the launch of the [Noor] satellite as much as they are concerned about the technology of manufacturing intercontinental missiles that are used to launch satellites.  The launching of this satellite must be seen as a component of [Iran’s] space program that shows that the Americans are unaware of the scope [of this program], just as they were unable to monitor it until the satellite was placed in orbit. [All of this shows] that the Islamic Republic has surpassed all the limitations of the nuclear agreement.”[9]  


The launch of the Noor satellite (Source: Tasnim, Iran, June 8, 2020)

IRGC Commander Salami: “We Have No Technical Limitation On Expanding The Range Of Our Missiles, Increasing Their Long-Range Accuracy, And Stepping Up Their Destructive And Propulsion Power”; “If The Europeans Or Others Want To Act According To Their Scheme To Disarm Iran Of Missiles, We Will Be Forced Into A Strategic Leap”; “We Cannot Provide [Details] On All The Dimensions Of Our Destructive Power”

On February 2, 2019, on the “Special Talk” program on Iran’s Channel 2, IRGC Commander (then deputy commander) Hossein Salami referred to Iran’s  achievements in the field of defense in the 40 years since the Islamic Revolution. He presented the Iranian strategy as preemptive and defensive, and justified Iran’s geostrategic expansion as a defense need. At the same time, he explained that the regional influence Iran strives for is, in essence, rooted in beliefs that are shared by the people of the region.[10]

He said: "The development of missile capability for our country as the major force for deterrence and defense is a strategy that cannot be stopped, and cannot be reined in. This force depends only on the will of the great Iranian nation and on its fundamental policy, shaped by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution [Ali Khamenei]. Happily, today we have no technological limitation on expanding [our] missile power – i.e. increasing missile accuracy to 100[%], in the matter of fuel, of warheads, and of destructive and evasive power, and attaining full independence in all aspects of missile technology – and every day [our] missile capability and quality improve. We are developing these technical capabilities according to strategic considerations, and if we restrict the range of our missiles to a particular number [i.e. to a range of 2,000 km, as IRGC officials claim Iran has], it is for strategic reasons. [But] these strategies are not set [in stone].

"Those who hear what we are saying now [i.e. in this interview] must internalize this reality: We have no technical limitation on expanding the range of our missiles, increasing their long-range accuracy, and stepping up their destructive and propulsion power. Our defensive strategy can change subject to circumstances, and also according to changes in the behavior of the players [in the international arena]. If the Europeans or others want to act according to their scheme to disarm Iran of missiles, we will be forced into a strategic leap. We can change all the factors and elements in developing this might in the technological area.

"We advise everybody: When it comes to the missile force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, let no one negotiate with us, recommend anything to us, or request anything from us. Let us develop this force in keeping with the nature of our defense policy. They should not force us to change our deterrence equation. It should be noted that as long as there is no change in our enemies' strategy and in their strategy of hostility – which includes economic sanctions, propaganda, and pressure [so that they] remain the regional power – our strategy too will remain the same.

"When the enemies continue to develop their missiles, spend billions of dollars to upgrade their military might, and threaten us – who could imagine that a nation or country like Iran would think of stopping development of [its] defensive and missile force?

"There is a need for constant development of [our] deterrent force, and happily today we are finding innovations in developing this aspect of might in the country, and are doing so both quantitatively and qualitatively. Our missile capability is not under fixed parameters. The structure, organization, development, quantity, and quality of our missile capability are completely open-ended. We have set no limits for the development of this capability. The threats against us have no limits, and they are particularly complex. We must have the might to defend our values, our independence, the integrity of our sovereignty, and our advancement and the glory of the nation... This missile capability is one of the pillars of [our] deterrent might.

"The countries with a hostile, controlling policy towards us must fear our response. As long as we are strong, they will have no chance to control [us]. One of the greatest lessons we have learned over the past 40 years is that independence, might, and progress cannot be achieved without might. The reason for this is that in our world, the logic of might rules [in relations] among states. Our great enemies understand only the language of force, and if we cannot speak this language to them, they will speak to us in this way. If we do not have missile might, they will force all their will on us in order to control us. Our aim in developing our missile capability is to prevent war. If the enemy miscalculates, or makes a misstep, we can correct his calculations from the first moments, with genuine responses, and as he is acting, we will show him his mistake…

“In Iraq and Syria, and later in Lebanon, they lit the fire of the terrorist expansion, in order to rein in Iran's defensive and regional power, and in order to increase the instability in the region and break the chain of the [Islamic] resistance. Iran's national security was the ultimate target of these actions by America, and we had to do something to thwart this American strategy. [It was] the Americans who, with this [military] action, laid the infrastructure for Iran's influence and for the political magnificence of [Iran's] regime in the region."

"The resistance fronts have no physical meaning. They emerged from the spiritual identity of [the Islamic] regime [of Iran], and caused supplementary forces in the battle region to coalesce. We had to expel this danger [while] it was in provinces distant [from Iran], because if we did not, the danger would infiltrate our borders. The front that was created caused the American defeat. Our game against the enemies is a zero-sum game. We had two options: to remain within our geographic borders, meaning achieving the American aims, or to advance and move [towards countries far away from Iran]…


IRGC commander Hossein Salami (Source: Fars, Iran, May 28, 2020)

"We will continue our previous strategies in the fifth decade after the Islamic Revolution. Today our naval power is completely strategic. We have attained unlimited air-defense and ground[-force] capabilities, which will continue [to increase]. We cannot disclose [details] about all the dimensions of our destructive power."[11]   

Statements By Iranian Army And IRGC Officials About Surprises In Store For The West

IRGC Commander Salami: An Important And Dangerous Part Of Our Power Is Hidden

IRGC Commander Hossein Salami said at a May 28, 2020 ceremony marking the transfer of 120 Army ships to the IRGC navy: "Our road map is to gain strength... An important and dangerous part of our power is hidden, and the enemies will one day see this power... On that day, they will be struck by such a conflagration, erupting from underground and raining down from the sky, that it will be an arena of hell for them."[12]

Deputy Defense Minister Taqizadeh: We Have Highly Accurate Missiles That We Have Not Publicized In Order To Surprise The Enemy

In his Friday, August 23, 2019 sermon in Mashhad, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Qassem Taqizadeh discussed Iran's missile capability, saying: 'We cannot publicize most of our achievements in the media, and we conceal them, so as to surprise the enemy on the day [we use them]... These new systems of ours are unique in the world. They are not reverse-engineered and not copied; they are [from] a domestic Iranian design and idea, manufactured from beginning to end in Iran...

"We are manufacturing missiles [to withstand] threats. In the meantime, we know that the threats facing us are up to 1,800 km away, but we have increased the precision of the strikes... The era of our manufacture of Shihab-1 [missiles] is over. Today, we have extremely precise missiles that we have not publicized in the media... Under the current circumstances, a great deal of effort has been made so that there is no stopping [the progress] in this area...  We have tremendous success in the surface-to-surface [missile] industry, and in cruise missiles as well. We hope for even more advanced achievements."[13]

Advisor To IRGC Commander: "We Will Send These Two [U.S.] Aircraft Carriers To The Bottom Of The Sea, Using Two Missiles Or Two Of Our New And Completely Secret Weapons"

Morteza Qorbani, advisor to the IRGC commander, spoke on May 25, 2019 about Iran's new secret weapon, saying: "If the enemy does even the smallest foolish [act] in the Persian Gulf waters, he will understand what we will do to him. The Americans had better not play these games with us, for example, bringing two aircraft carriers to the region. We will send these two aircraft carriers to the bottom of the sera, together with their crews and the aircraft [on them], using two missiles or two of our new and completely secret weapons. The enemy had better not try to bully us."[14]


Morteza Qorbani, advisor to IRGC commander (Source: Mizanonline.com, May 25, 2019)

*A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project.

 

[1] ISNA (Iran), April 23, 2020.

[2] Fars (Iran), February 2, 2019.

[3] Kayhan (Iran), May 4, 2020.

[4] Tasnim (Iran), December 19, 2019.

[5] ISNA (Iran), April 4, 2020.

[6] ISNA (Iran), April 23, 2020.

[7] Tasnim (Iran), June 8, 2020.

[8] Kayhan (Iran), April 24, 2020.

[9] Kayhan (Iran), April 24, 2020.

[11] Fars (Iran), February 2, 2020.

[12] Fars (Iran), May 28, 2020.

[13] Fars (Iran), August 23, 2019.

[14] Mizanonline.com, May 25, 2019.

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