December 3, 2014 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1135

Iranian IRGC Missile Unit Commanders: We've Developed 2,000-km Range Missiles And Equipped Hizbullah With 300-km Range Missiles; Fars News Agency: Israel's Illusions About Its Natural Gas Fields Will Be Buried In The Mediterranean

December 3, 2014 | By A. Savyon, Yossi Mansharof, and U. Kafash*
Iran, Iran | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1135


Two weeks before November 24, 2014, the end date of the Joint Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1, websites close to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began reporting about the capabilities of the IRGC missile unit, and in particular about this unit's capability to strike and destroy Israel. At the same time, there has been a marked increase in threats by IRGC officials on behalf of Hizbullah about the latter's readiness to strike any point in Israel. Furthermore, the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency is touting the capability of Hizbullah's Iranian missiles to damage Israel's natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Israeli naval vessels.

On November 24, IRGC commander Ali Jafari said at a conference at Shahid Modares University: "Today, the entire area of the occupied territories [Israel] is within range of the missiles of the resistance - meaning the fall of the Zionist regime. Of course, the matter does not end here, and certainly the final liberation [of Palestine] will come about."[1]

Also in November, the Iranian news agency Fars published statements by IRGC Aerospace Force and missile unit commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh and his deputy Majid Mousavi, both of whom claimed that the missile unit had been established in order to attack Israel. They said that Hizbullah is in possession of Iranian missiles with a range of 300 km, covering Israeli territory as far south as Dimona. Hajizadeh added that the IRGC and Hizbullah were a single apparatus.  

Hajizadeh explained in detail the history of the establishment of the missile unit, which originally copied Libyan missile systems and was based on knowhow provided by North Korea, and that training for it had been carried out in Syria. He noted that it was Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who had demanded that Iranian missiles be precise to within 10 meters. He also underlined the IRGC's advanced missile capability against naval vessels.

In addition, just prior to the November 24 deadline, on November 17, the IRGC-affiliated posted a diagram showing the ranges of several Iranian missiles, up to 2,000 km, covering Greece, southern Italy, southeast Europe, Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. The diagram emphasized the Iranian missile threat to Israel and to U.S. military bases in the region.

On November 26, two days after Iran and the P5+1 agreed to extend the Joint Plan of Action to June 2015, Tasnimnews posted links to video clips of the launch of 2000-km range Sejil ballistic missiles (download the clip from here); of 1,350-km range Qadr F and Qadr H missiles (here) and of 1,350-km range Shahab 3 missiles; of 300-km range Hormuz 1 and 2 missiles (here), of 300-km range Zelzal missiles (here and here), of 300-km range Zelzal Raad 307 missiles (here); and of the simultaneous launch of several ballistic missiles (here).

This paper will review at length statements by IRGC officials on Iran's missiles, on the missile unit, on the missile threat to Israel and to U.S. military bases in the region, and on the missile capabilities of Hizbullah and the Palestinian resistance, which are now armed with Iranian missile technology. It will also review statements by Hizbullah deputy secretary general Naim Qassem on Iran's aid to Hizbullah to arm itself with missiles against Israel.

Part I: Tasnim's Diagram Of Iranian Missiles' Striking Range Up To 2,000 Km, Including U.S. Military Bases


The translation of the diagram is as follows:

"On the Firing Line

"The commanders of the army of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] have said several times that with its attainment of long-range missiles with a range of up to 2,000 km, Iran has arrived at the range ceiling that it considers desirable, and that 'in the meantime' there is no need to increase this range. Although the U.S. is 11,000 km from Iran, in recent years it has approached the borders of Iran, [and therefore] its military bases, equipment, and forces are a target for Iran's missiles.

"Likewise, the Zionist regime is the most important enemy of Iran in the region, and is less than 1,200 km away. Therefore, short- and medium-range missiles are sufficient to strike U.S. bases near Iran, and long-range missiles are sufficient to strike the occupied territories [Israel]. The diagram shows several of these American bases and [also] the missiles that are counting [down] to the moment [when they will be able to] strike them."


Thumrait [U.S. Air Base, Oman]

963 km

Manas Airport [Kyrgyzstan]

1,344 km

Shamsi [Air Field, Pakistan]

199 km

Shahbaz [drone base in Pakistan used by  U.S. forces]

527 km

Incirlik [U.S. Air Base, Turkey]

875 km

U.S. Air Base Al-'Udeid [Qatar], where there are B-1B (stealth) bombers  

278 km

Ali Al Salem Air Base [Kuwait] with two [U.S.] Air Force bases and six U.S. Army camps

115 km

Bagram Air Field [Afghanistan], with four military airports and U.S. cargo planes and fighter planes

730 km

Shaikh-Isa Air Base [Bahrain/Saudi Arabia region] with two 3,800-meter long landing strips and P-13, C-17, Orion, and F-16 fighter jets

238 km

U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet. Large number of fully armed and equipped American warships

200 km

Al-Dhafra Air Base [UAE], with two 4,300-meter long landing strips and large aircraft

253 km by coast and 184-225 km from Iran's Persian Gulf islands


Part II: In Interview, IRGC Aerospace Force And Missile Unit Commander Hajizadeh Tells The Story Of The Missile Unit

IRGC Aerospace Force and missile unit commander Hajizadeh gave an interview for a November 11, 2014 special publication titled The Sejil Protest (the Sejil is Iran's 2,000-km range ballistic missile) marking the 30th anniversary of IRGC missile capabilities.[2] In the interview, he discussed the formation of the missile unit as a powerful independent force in Iran's security branches, and gave details about the aid and guidance that the unit had provided to pro-Iran organizations in the Middle East, such as Hizbullah and the Palestinian factions.

Khamenei Urged Us To Develop Missile Capabilities Based On Missiles Taken From Libya

Hajizadeh said that the missile unit was based on copied Libyan missile systems and on training in Syria, and added that it was Leader Khamenei, then Iranian president, who urged the IRGC to advance the missile project based on missiles stolen from Libya: "Between 1984 and 1986, the enemy forced [Libyan Leader Mu'ammar Al-]Qadhafi to stop supporting Iran... But in 1984, we began producing missiles. That is, two missiles were secretly removed from [the Libyan] missile [stockpile in Iran] and were handed over to the initial team of the IRGC missile industry in order to reverse-engineer them... Back then, the [missile] industrial complex was small... and had not yet done anything of note. But because of the importance of the work, president [Khamenei] came to a meeting [of the missile unit]... and stressed that the reverse-engineering must yield results...

"Following that visit, [Khamenei] noticed that the two missiles were still in their crate and that no one had yet touched them or disassembled them. The guys were busy reading the relevant material prior to disassembly. They wanted to work patiently and diligently so that nothing would be wrecked... I noticed that that very day, Mister [Khamenei] said in surprise: 'Why haven't we opened [these missiles] yet? Why are you afraid?'... The essence of his statement was: 'Fear not, proceed.' He threatened that if no one opened up [the missiles] someone might come and take them away, motivating them to start working on [the disassembly] as soon as possible."

North Korea Helped Us Obtain Missile Technology

Hajizadeh explained that by 1986, the American and Soviet pressure on Libya to stop firing Libyan missiles at Iraq from Iran had yielded results, and that "in effect, we were disarmed and didn't even know it... But there was one thing that the Libyans didn't know... that our forces had received training and were on top [of things]. They [the Libyans] did their job [i.e. fired missiles at Iraq from Iran] and we helped them, but they thought that our guys knew nothing about the missiles... But we had already begun efforts to manufacture [missiles] and taken initiatives to purchase missiles from North Korea.

"At that time, North Korea was manufacturing missiles, and was more advanced than us... I was in North Korea with several colleagues [at that time] in order to accept a shipment of missiles, and we did not know what was happening in Iran... At the [Iranian] Embassy, they told me that Iran wanted [to talk] to me...

"At that time, it was hard to maintain contact between Iran and North Korea - that is, this country [North Korea] has certain unique aspects and its communications are not like those of other countries... In any case, I arrived at the [Iranian] Embassy and, after much planning and coordination, I managed to get in touch with the martyr [Hassan] Tehrani Moghaddam [who was in charge of promoting Iran's missile project, and is considered the father of Iran's missile project]. We began speaking in code so that if anyone was listening in, they wouldn't understand [what we were talking about].

"Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam] told me that there had been a number of incidents in Iran and that they were missing certain items. He asked me to obtain these items for him and ship them to Iran. I remember that 10 missile units were ready to be shipped [from North Korea to Iran] and that at the last minute, Mr. Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam] raised this new issue.

"I borrowed money from the Iranian Embassy in Pyongyang, which was [highly] irregular, and bought the parts that Hassan had ordered from the same company from which we had purchased the missiles [that were already set to be shipped], and they [in North Korea] cooperated with us. We loaded the missiles in weather that was 20-25 [degrees Celsius] below zero... In the morning, and after we finished making arrangements, we set out. After arriving [in Iran], all the guys mobilized to prepare the missiles. But we encountered difficulties, because they hadn't been near the equipment for two years, and no drills or maneuvers had been held; in effect, no missiles had been launched. The Libyans had damaged the equipment, and the work was incredibly difficult. [The team] copied the parts we had brought from North Korea, but [these parts] had been adapted to the Russian mechanism [and had to be changed to fit ours]. [But] despite the difficulties, the mechanism worked, and the first missile was launched."

The Difficulty Of Retaining Manpower In The Missile Unit

"One difficulty in this work, especially in the IRGC system during the [Iran-Iraq] war, was retaining the manpower through the lengthy hiatuses between missile tests. Most of the pressure was on Hassan [Tehrani-Moghaddam], who would always preach to us [about the importance of this work], but [the effect of] his preaching only lasted for so long. When there was no work for a month, everyone would gather around him and say: 'Hassan, stop. This work will yield nothing. Leave us alone so that we can go to other [IRGC] units.' Likewise, between missile tests, when there was a planned months-long interval, many of the guys would join other units to help with testing, and would come back when they done, but they didn't like this and would say, 'Allow us to leave.'

"On several occasions, Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam held meetings... but from the outset the guys were unwilling [to do what he asked]. We were [helpless]. Eventually, we decided to get everyone together and take them to talk with Mr. Mohsen [Rezaee], the IRGC commander, so that they could receive some encouragement to keep working for another few months. We had a very interesting meeting, attended by Mr. Mohsen and 40 or 50 of the guys who were the backbone [of the unit]. Mohsen spoke with them, but we obtained an effect that was the opposite of the one we wanted. He said: 'The world made one mistake and gave us missiles... and it will never give us missiles again. The equipment and means we have received are the last we will ever get.' [Mohsen] added commentary in this vein... and when we left the meeting, they all gathered around Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam] and said: 'That is exactly what we say.' Hassan said: 'What were we thinking, and what will we be in the end[?] Our work has become extremely difficult'... In short, between 1984 and 1986 it was very hard to retain the guys in the missile unit..."

After The Iran-Iraq War: Israel Is The Target

"After the war, a new phase began for the missile [unit] guys... They assessed that if one day Iran's missile capabilities could not handle threats from the Zionist regime, then [the latter] might attack [Iran]...

"The first contract that the martyr Tehrani Moghaddam signed with the guys from [the Iranian government-affiliated] defense industries group was for a limited number of rockets, and was worded so that we told Hassan: 'You have signed the [1828] Treaty of Turkmenchay!'[3] We said this because the refueling of these rockets was not [being carried out] in a safe way, and they [defense industry representatives] told us: 'Whenever you want to participate [in rocket tests] let us know, so that we can inject the fuel [into the rockets]'...

"Furthermore, the first rocket tests we conducted were at a firing range in the desert. We situated the observers... 20 km from the spot from where we thought [the rockets would land]. But in several [initial] tests, we never saw any of the rockets - they landed behind us, exploded at high altitude, or went so far off course that we couldn't find them.

Hajizadeh. Source: Fars, November 12, 2014.

"We went to Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam] and said: 'What is this contract you signed? How does it benefit us, and what good is it?' ... Hassan said: 'Look, if we don't fulfill this contract and create confidence [in us] among the industrialists, and if there is no demand [for rockets], we will achieve nothing. We had to sign this contract so that they are certain that we want this. If we don't want this, they will not be able to achieve a thing.' He [also] said: 'I too know this won't help anyone.' But Hassan's approach was like that of parents teaching a child to walk. They reach out to the child, who thinks he has only [a few steps] to go, but when he moves forward, [the parents] keep moving their hands back."

The Manufacturing Process Of The First Missile With A Range Greater Than 1,000 Km - In Order To Strike Israel

Hajizdeh continued: "We worked simultaneously on liquid and solid fuel missiles. We copied the Shahab 1 missile from the Scud B, which was productive, and in less two years, we created the 500-km range Shahab 2. Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam]... said: 'We need a missile that we can use to hit Israel.'

"[We succeeded] then to produce prototype missiles to 'hit Israel' with a range of no more than 1,100 km, because of our pressure on the [Iranian defense] industries. We had to take [these missiles] to Gilangharb [on Iran's eastern] border in order to reach [Israel].

"Hassan believed that we had to attain a range for our missiles that would allow us to threaten the Zionist regime - that is, if it was not enough to reach the occupied territories [i.e. Israel], then we'd have a problem. It was as if he predicted today's situation. We attained these first missiles with the minimal range that I have already mentioned, and later on said that we needed to increase the range.

"Since those first missiles had to be fueled when they were vertical, their range was limited, and they were not very accurate. These issues resolved themselves in several stages, until we arrived at liquid fuel missiles with ranges of 1,650 and 2,000 km."

 The IRGC Has A Plethora Of 2,000-km Range Missiles

"At that time, due to the desire to create rockets and missiles, many industries were working [in that field], both at the Defense Ministry and at the [Ministry] of Jihad-e Agriculture, which back then was called the [Ministry] of Jihad. The IRGC engineering [department] was engaged in [developing missiles] and many places were recruited for specific missions. Our aim was for all of this research to yield results, so that the abovementioned production could be directed towards the centers that made up the [Iranian] defense industry complex. Thus, we achieved a solid fuel missile with a guidance [system], like the Fateh 110, which had a range of 250 km, and, later, 300 km.

"At the same time, a request came in for work on a solid fuel missile with a range of 2,000 km. The project was named 'Ashura,' and, through trial and error, it led to today's Sejil missiles, which are multi-phase solid fuel and have a range of 2,000 km, and which now [have their own production line]; our missile unit has many of these.

"Currently, [we] have a wide array of missiles; and now, after many years [of work], we have design capability. At first we would reverse-engineer them - like how we created the Shahab 1 from the Scud B or the Shahab 3 from the Scud C. However, thanks to round-the-clock work by our dear scientists, we developed missile-design capabilities - that is, from idea to [final] product, everything is completely Iranian."

About the Iranian Qiam 1 missile, Hajizadeh said: "Engineering aspects of this missile are close to those of the Shahab 1, but [it] has no fins, that is, we removed even its external fins. Its length and diameter are the same as the Shahab 1, but its range has jumped from 300 km to 800 km. This attests to [our] high-level abilities and great potential, and, praise to God, with regard to surface-to-surface missiles today, almost every idea we came up with either has already become an [actual] product or can become one."

Launch of 2000-km range Sejil ballistic missile. Source: Fars, November 12, 2014. 

Khamenei Demanded Improved Missile Accuracy

"After a time, Mister [Khamenei demanded] that [missile accuracy] be improved, to pinpoint precision. He had stressed this for a long time. Since our targets were large, we hadn't focused on accuracy. The missile deviation was between 200 and 1,000 meters, but because the warheads were heavy, we thought it was good enough.

"Every so often, even during my time, [Khamenei] demanded that the commanders and supervisors focus on accuracy. Everyone threw themselves into the task, until the prototype missiles reached an accuracy of 100-120 meters. But [Khamenei] said: 'This is impossible. If you want to hit a target, how can you say it hits 100 meters away from it[?]'

"Efforts continued until we had achieved accuracy of 35 meters, and we thought we had done a good job. At an exposition, while the first report was being submitted [to Khamenei], he said: 'Your work is excellent and top-notch, but if you can attain 35-meter [accuracy], then you can also attain 10-15 meter [accuracy].' We were in shock. With [Khamenei's orders for] improvement, the guys once again went to work, and within five or six months, we had reached accuracy of better than 10 meters."

 Developing Anti-Ship Ballistic Missiles

"The [missile] field expanded, and the missiles gained anti-ship capabilities - that is, [we developed] ballistic anti-ship missiles. Usually, cruise missiles are used for this, not ballistic missiles, but cruise missiles have limitations, and can only hit their target at low speed. Using ballistic missiles [for this] was an Iranian idea and this idea was developed until the Khalij-e Fars missile was achieved, and later until today's Hormuz 1 and Hormuz 2 missiles were achieved; each of these has unique capabilities and can target ships and naval vessels at various distances."

Syria's Missile Workshops Were Built By Iran; Hizbullah, Palestinian Resistance Have Many Iranian Missiles

"Today, our situation is good, and even the countries that once helped us, such as Syria, later purchased our missiles. Today, the missile workshops in Syria are Iran-built and manufacture missiles of Iranian design. In fact, we learned from them how to use [missiles], but [later] taught them how to make them. Syria's missile manufacturers have copied Iran. The resistance front has learned from Iran how to manufacture its missiles.

"[Both] Hizbullah in Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance have excellent missile capabilities, and [Iranian] missiles are widely found and have special status."

Despite The Sanctions, Iran Obtained Missile Technology That The West Cannot Restrict

Hajizadeh concluded the interview by saying: "There is no comparison between the sophistication of missile industry technology and that of any other industry. But Iran has nevertheless become self-sufficient in this field. This shows that we can become self-sufficient in other industries [as well]. Our missile experience shows that we can completely neutralize the sanctions. The missile industry already has 72 martyrs; it is thanks to their round-the-clock efforts that we now stand on our own two feet and express [our] will, which is no longer under the enemy's control.

"In my opinion, those who believe, those who yearn for Islam, the Revolution, the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini], and the leadership [of Khamenei] are more important than missiles - [because] it is they who produce the missiles and weapons, and they who provide what is missing, on both the military and civilian levels.

"[The Westerners] restrict us and refrain from giving us even the simplest of things. Later, they notice the missiles, and say: 'Let's negotiate.' They do not say they will restrict [us], because if they could, they would have done so already. They say: 'Let's negotiate. Either you restrict yourselves, or shut down your production.' This shows that they cannot directly force their will on us. The control is no longer in their hands, but in ours."

Deputy IRGC Aerospace Force And Missile Unit Commander: "The Ideal... Was To Attack The Zionist Regime"

In a November 12, 2014 interview with Fars, Hajizadeh's deputy, Majid Mousavi, said: "The ideal to which Hassan [Tehrani Moghaddam] aspired was to attack the Zionist regime. He always [stressed] that we must attack them, and was always preoccupied with this... Leader [Khamenei] set a particular [goal] for us based on the assumption that the Zionist regime is our main enemy, and that if it is decided that we should confront it, missiles with a 2,000-km range would be sufficient."

Iran's Missile Program

On December 3, 2014, according to the Iranian news agency Mehr, senior advisor to the representative of Khamenei in the IRGC, Yadollah Javani, said: "Iran's missile projects are defined primarily in order to enhance might and to create deterrence, so that our enemies will sense our might and so that any thought of any kind of threat or obstacle to our interests will go right out of their heads. The U.S. and the Zionist regime have threatened us, but because of our deterrence capability, they have not acted on their threats. We have explicitly said that we support liberation movements that fight evil. Our support is actualized in the wars of Hizbullah and the [Palestinian] resistance against the Zionist regime, and in the defeat of the Zionist regime in the last four wars."

Javani quoted Ramadhan Abdallah Shelah, secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as saying that without Iran's support, the resistance would not have emerged, and that today everything in the resistance's hands, from bullets to missiles, is thanks to Iran.

Referring to concerns among American officials about Iran's missiles, he said, "According to what the Leader [Khamenei] said, their desire to oversee our missile program is indeed an idiotic and stupid move. They are constantly threatening us. What intelligent country under constant threat would agree to restrict its defensive might? On the contrary, we have advances and plans that will put the [Americans] in a state of constant worry." He added, "They fear the might of our missiles, such that if anyone sins even a little [against Iran], Iran will respond on their soil, and, indeed, has the strength to make the enemy sorry for what it did."

Fars: Iran Develops "Smart" Warheads, Cluster Warheads For Long-Range Missiles

In a November 14, 2014 article, Fars discussed Iran's development of "a smart homing warhead, which operates in concert with the missile's other smart subsystems to increase accuracy both on land and at sea." According to Fars, only some of the developed countries have this strategic capability, and "according to Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, this warhead can be mounted on all missiles, including long-range Ghadr, Qiam, and Sejil missiles. The warhead allows control even after reentry into the atmosphere, and can destroy targets with pinpoint accuracy. Missiles equipped with this system can strike targets with an accuracy of under five meters."

The article continued: "On November 2, 2014, the defense industries successfully tested a long-range missile equipped with a cluster warhead aimed at destroying enemy vehicles and equipment. This warhead can evade missile defense systems and destroy large targets as well as diffuse ones. The [Iranian] defense industries provided the IRGC with a large number of missiles, including Ghadr H, Qiam, Fateh, and Khalij-e Fars. The cluster warhead is fitted to at least two missiles: the [1,300-km range] Ghadr H1 and the medium [800-km] range Qiam.

"Both these missiles can carry blast warheads and cluster warheads, can be launched from stationary or mobile platforms from various positions, and can penetrate enemy missile defenses while evading radar detection.

"In April 2014, Leader [Khamenei] visited the IRGC achievements exposition, at which the Zelzal cluster missile was unveiled; it contains 17 bombs, each weighing 17 kg, that disperse at low altitude and are used to hit airfields or equipment on the ground. The Zelzal uses solid fuel and has a range of some 300 kilometers."[4]

Secretary-General Of Committee For Support For The Palestinian Intifada: Israel Has Both Nuclear Weapons And Ballistic Missiles, So Our Most Important Strategy For Creating A Balance Of Terror Is Our Missiles; I Hope West Bank Palestinians Are Equipped With Iranian Missiles

In a November 30, 2014 interview, Hossein Sheikholeslam, secretary-general of the Tehran-based Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada and an advisor to Majlis speaker Ali Larijani, said: "Our main enemy [Israel] is equipped with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and therefore our most important strategy in dealing with it is these missiles, which allow us to create a balance of terror in light of possible aggression by the enemy towards Iran... We hope that the missile strategy that has become established, in Hizbullah in Lebanon and in Gaza, will also spread to the West Bank in the near future...

"Iran's top-notch missile capabilities are a strong dam against the Western strategy that is aimed at sowing chaos in the region in order to provide security for the Zionist regime. Iran's missile capabilities have several aspects, one of which is the rockets that have proven their operational worth in Lebanon and Gaza. [Another is]  Iran's [successful] ballistic missile tests and satellite launches... We control the whole of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Sea of Oman, and also have full control of the line for transferring energy, and of the warships and bases of the arrogance [the U.S.]. We are nearly invulnerable to possible attacks."[5]

Iranian Navy Official: We Have Acquired Such Capability That A Naval Attack By Iran Against Hostile Countries Will Seriously Endanger Them

In an November 23, 2014 interview with Fars, Iranian Navy Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Office director Gholamzadeh said, "Fortunately, Iran has achieved a level of ability that enables it to produce and operate a variety of missiles and munitions for various ranges. Iran produces both short-range missiles and missiles with a range of thousands of kilometers. The missiles' range conforms to what Iranian officials define as [Iran's] 'first line,' and all the officials need to do is define the required [missile] range  and the Navy will attain it...

"Our navy is in international waters, and therefore it obtains information about the most up-to-date equipment used by America, Britain, and the Zionist regime... We are completely overseeing them in order to learn about the latest updates in their equipment and technology. Just as they follow all our maneuvers, we [follow all theirs].

"Our military capability is such that all the abovementioned hostile countries talk about our navy, which is a bad sign for them, [since] they are only vaguely aware of our capabilities. We have acquired such capability that a naval attack [by Iran against them] will seriously endanger them... Our naval vessels are equipped with the Raad and Sayyad missile systems, as well as with short-range surface-to-air missiles. Now, we are attempting to improve [these systems] and to increase the vessels' defensive capabilities."[6]

Part III: Hizbullah's Missile Threat To Israel  

Hajizadeh: "The IRGC And Hizbullah Are A Single Apparatus Joined Together... They Have No Shortage Of Missiles"

In a November 29, 2014 interview, Hajizadeh told Fars: "Knowing Hizbullah's missile and drone capability as I do, I say that this capability today is so advanced that it is not comparable to Hizbullah's capability in the 2006 Lebanon war. The capability that the Palestinian resistance demonstrated in the most recent war that lasted 51 days [i.e. the July 2014 Gaza war] reflects only part of Hizbullah's capability... In the past, Hizbullah was dependent on us [i.e. Iran], but today it has progressed so much that sometimes we use its capabilities. If they [still] need our support, we will help them. In effect, the IRGC and Hizbullah are a single apparatus joined together, and according to what I know, they have no shortage of missiles and drones."[7]

In another speech, the same day, Hajizadeh said: "By virtue of Iran's support, Tel Aviv is today under fire, across its length and breadth, by the fighters of Gaza and Hizbullah. The oppressing, accursed Zionist regime cannot stand fast against the resistance front, and it is doomed to defeat..."[8]

IRGC Affiliate Fars News Agency: With Its Missiles, Hizbullah Can Wreak Havoc On Israel's Natural Gas Fields And Navy

A November 29, 2014 Fars article titled "The Illusion Of Israel's Natural Gas Will Be Buried In The Mediterranean" stated: "The Hormuz 1 and Hormuz 2 ballistic missiles are anti-radar and are for striking warships. According to Hajizadeh, the range of the Hormuz 1 is some 300 km, and the speed of the Hormuz 2 is four to five times the speed of sound. In contrast to the Khalij-e Fars, whose navigational system is optic, and in contrast to the Fateh 110, whose navigational system is precise, the Hormuz 1 has searchers that identify radar waves and then attack their source... It can be estimated that the weight of the missile's warhead is between 450 and 600 kg... The Hormuz 1 has successfully destroyed a radar-equipped container that was only six meters long. This is considered exceptionally precise execution.

Hormuz 1 and 2 anti-radar missiles for naval targets (source: Fars, November 29, 2014).

"Hajizadeh said, 'The Hormuz 1 can destroy radar installations on aircraft carriers, a site of Patriot [missiles] on land or a site of searcher radar. A Hormuz missile installed on a launcher has very high mobility (which will be a nightmare for Israel's antitank batteries). The launching of this missile together with a Khalij-e Fars [missile] can be a real nightmare for an enemy at sea, because he will need to deal with two types of very fast missiles, each of which has a completely different navigational system, and dealing with each of them entails problems that are unique to each missile...

"In recent years, the Zionist regime has discovered natural gas resources in the Mediterranean, particularly the Tamar gas field, which is 80 km from Haifa port, and the Leviathan, which is five kilometers underwater...  [They] will be suitable targets for Hizbullah's Fateh naval missiles... These fields begin from the area of Ras Al-Naqoura [Rosh HaNikra in Israel] which is close to the Lebanon border, and end at Ashkelon beach, on the northern border of the Gaza strip... In addition to these two gas fields, there are smaller fields - Mary B and Dalit.

Israel's Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields (source: Fars, November 29, 2014).

"If, eight years ago [during the 2006 Lebanon war], Hizbullah managed to strike Israel's modern and advanced [Sa'ar] missile boats in the Mediterranean only with short-range cruise missiles, by means of equipping the resistance with Khalij-e Fars and Hormuz missiles (both of which are from the family of the Fateh missile) it will be able to wreak havoc on [Israel's] navy, anti-tank defense systems, and huge gas reserves."[9]

IRGC Air Force Deputy Commander: Hizbullah And The Palestinian Resistance Have The Capability To Attack Anywhere In the Occupied Territories

In a November 12, 2014 Fars interview, Hajizadeh's deputy Mousavi said: "The policy of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] with regard to supporting the resistance forces and the resistance front gives them the capability to build and manufacture the products by themselves... From the outset, the idea was that we would teach them manufacturing capability. [This] strategy has advanced with regard to missiles.

"The Zionist regime tasted the bitterness of missile strikes in the 2006 Lebanon war, the 22-day war [i.e. the 2008 Gaza war], the eight-day war [November 2012] and the 51-day war [July-August 2014]. The main founder of this move was [Hassan Tehrani] Moghaddam, who helped and supported the relevant industries so that both Hizbullah and the Palestinians would, in a short time, have the required capability to manufacture and operate the systems...

"As far as the range of the missiles is concerned, [the resistance organizations] can today attack with the missiles in their possession any target in the occupied territories [Israel], south or north. According to statements, these organizations have a secret capability for extensive missile campaigns to the level of the Fateh missiles [with a range of 250-300 km]..."[10]

Missile Unit Official: Iran Liaised Among Hizbullah, Hamas, And Islamic Jihad In The West Bank And Gaza - And Armed Them With Missiles

In a Tasnimnews interview published November 29, 2014, a commander of the IRGC missile unit, Ahmad Sayyed Hosseini, said: "Our officials liaised between Hizbullah and Hamas, as well as between Hizbullah and the West Bank and Gaza - most of them there are Islamic Jihad and Hamas members. That is how those organizations were armed and trained by Hizbullah, and received indirect support from Iran. Some of them even came to Iran for training, and they very gradually equipped themselves [with missiles]. The Palestinian resistance has repeatedly announced that it attained its [missile] capabilities thanks to the efforts of the father of Iran's missile [program, Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam], who armed them and guided them, bringing them to their current situation of supplying their own needs in their steadfastness against the Israeli regime."[11]

Hizbullah Deputy Secretary-General: Without Iranian Missiles, We Could Not Have Struck Israel

In a November 11, 2014 Tasnimnews interview, Hizbullah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem said: "Iran plays a central and major role in expanding Hizbullah's rocket capabilities in Lebanon, in terms of quantity and quality, training activists, and conducting maneuvers. Furthermore, Iran provided a lot of training in order to establish several missile units in Hizbullah. When we speak of missile capabilities, we do not mean just transferring missiles from Iran to the resistance, but also everything that goes with that - from [Iranian instructors'] presence in Lebanon to transferring [missiles], preparation, training, instruction in launching and striking targets, and specialized guidance for various people on using this capability...

Hizbullah deputy secretary-general Naim Qassem (source: Tasnimnews, November 11, 2014).

"In the 2006 Lebanon War... we used various rockets transferred to us from Iran, including the Fajr [missile, with a range of 75 km], and the Raad [missile with a range of 300 km], and others. These missiles played a major role in moving the war into various areas inside [the territory of] the oppressive Israeli regime. At that time, these missiles could reach about half of the occupied territories, and half of the Jews [there] were under constant danger from these rocket attacks... This is an important weak point for the Israelis and a major strong point for Hizbullah. Without these rockets, we could not inflict such effective and painful blows upon the domestic front of the Zionist regime, that is, the enemy's military home front...

"Therefore, the missiles that Iran transferred to Hizbullah in Lebanon played an important part in the resistance's winning formula in the 2006 Lebanon war, because they penetrated to the depth of the Israeli regime. Hizbullah also used missile capabilities that were transferred to them by [the regime in] Syria.

"According to the information in my possession, the Iranians also cooperated with the Syrian regime and military to establish missile facilities. This played a crucial role in the Syrian regime's various battles against terrorist circles since 2011 [i.e. the Syrian opposition], and in Damascus's support for Hizbullah, by transferring some of those missiles to them.

"Gaza is situated in the heart of Palestine, and its distance from Haifa, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv is minimal compared to [the distance from] Lebanon to southern Israel. Therefore, shorter-range rockets can carry out effective missions for the resistance, and even sensitive sites in occupied Palestine will be under a shower of missiles. Fajr missiles played an important role in these missiles salvos on Tel Aviv in the [2008] 22-day war and changed the equation of the war in Gaza. This scenario recurred in the 51-day war [in July-August 2014], when even more missiles were fired at Tel Aviv and other sensitive sites in occupied Palestine."[12]

Diagram: Iran's 300-km Range Fateh 110 Missile And Israel


Also in November, Fars published a diagram showing how the 300-km range Fateh missile could strike any of Israel's major cities and important sites. The following is the translation of the diagram:

"Fateh 110: The Fateh 110 is powered by solid fuel, has a range of 300 kilometers, and is considered Iran's most accurate ballistic missile. This missile, with its pinpoint accuracy, is a nightmare for the Zionist regime.

"Dimona [in crosshairs on map] is within range of Iran's most accurate missile: The Dimona nuclear reactor, located in the 'Negev' research center, is considered Israel's most important nuclear reactor. It comprises 10 buildings and some 3,000 scientists and technical experts. Israel's plutonium research workshop is also situated there. Israel's nuclear site creates nuclear fuel at over 90% enrichment for nuclear bombs and missiles.

"Additionally, the joint Israeli-American lab for cyber-attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities is located in Dimona.

Rocket name











300 km

8.9 m

3,670 kg

500 kilos



Khalij-e Fars

300 km

8.9 m

3,730 kg

450 kilos




"Haifa: Population 270,000. Third largest city in Israel and the site of the largest oil refinery and most marine traffic.

"Netanya: Population 174,000. Area: 28,954 square kilometers [sic].

"Herzliya : Population 84,000. This city is considered Israel's most expensive place to live.

"Tel Aviv: Population 403,700. Israel's capital [sic] and second-largest city in terms of population.

"Ashdod Port: Population 200,000. Israel's largest port.

"Ashkelon Port: Population 107,900. Area: 47,788 square kilometers [sic].

"Beersheba: Population 185,000. Fourth most populous city."[13]


* U. Kafash and Y. Mansharof are Research Fellows at MEMRI; A Savyon is director of the Iranian Media Project at MEMRI.




[1] (Iran), November 24, 2014.

[2] As published by Fars (Iran), November 12, 2014.

[3] Under the Treaty of Turkmenchay, Russia forced Iran to relinquish Afghanistan.

[4] Fars (Iran), November 14, 2014.

[5] (Iran), November 30, 2014.

[6] Fars (Iran), November 23, 2014.

[7] Fars (Iran), November 29, 2014.

[8] (Iran), November 29, 2014.

[9] Fars (Iran), November 29, 2014.

[10] Fars (Iran), November 12, 2014.

[11] (Iran), November 29, 2014.

[12] (Iran), November 11, 2014.

[13], November 2014.

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