History of Iran’s missile program


[A footage from Iran’s state-run TV about history of missile program in Iran.]

Narrator: 2016.

The narrator says: Iran is one of the few countries producing ballistic long-range missiles, and it can hit various targets in shortest possible time. Iran started its missile program almost from the scratch. In making this program fruitful, many figures and scientists have been active. But among them, one individual is distinguished from others: Brigadier-General Hassan Tehrani Moghadam.

–[in Arabic] As the religious authorities say, this and nothing but this.

The narrator continues 2011, Mallard, Shahid Moddares Military Base.

TV anchor: Huge explosion close to Mallard, Karaj. This explosion which took place at 13:30 was heard in Alborz Province and even Tehran.

The narrator adds: In the 1970s, Pahlavi regime as gendarme of the region was after increasing its military power. Iraq as one of the main rivals [of Iran] had been equipped with Scud B missiles with 300 km range. Meanwhile, Iran had no missiles even with short range. Shah’s consecutive requests from the U.S. for purchasing missiles had been rejected. U.S. did not even give Rudderson with 60 km range to Iran. In 1980, the war between Iran and Iraq started while Iran was deprived of powerful ground fire support and long and short-range missiles. In 1981, Iran was suffering from weak fire support in war fronts.

Narrator asserts: Hassan Tehrani Moghadam decided to manage the issue of supporting fire. And in the first step, he organized mortars and created IRGC concentrated mortar unit. The next step was taken in 1982. Tehrani Moghadam decided to organize artillery fire. The number of artilleries in possession of IRGC is very low, and due to sanctions, it wasn’t possible to purchase artilleries. In several operations, one of the objectives was defined as seizing Iraqi artilleries. After seizing these artilleries, Tehrani Moghadam created artillery unit.

The narrator goes on to say: January 1984, Iraq had been defeated consecutively in battlefields and the Iraqi army was psychologically weak. Baath army was a way to escape this condition, so they started targeting cities with missiles given to them by the Soviet Union. Iran’s response to Iraqi missile attacks took two forms: with airplanes bombings which, due to Iraqi strong air defense, were with high risk; and firing artilleries towards Iraq, which could reach as far as the border city of Basra. Summer of 1984, Iranian officials sent Tehrani Moghadam with a group to Syria to have training for launching missiles. Syrian officials had said that for training to launch a missile, there had to be three groups to be separately trained, adding that the average time for these training for those officers familiar with issues of missiles would take 6 months. They had said given the low number of Iranians and the problem of not speaking the language of trainers, this process would take much longer.

The narrator states: Tehrani Moghadam, given the emergency war conditions of the cities in Iran, told Syrian officials that there was only one group, and each individual had to be trained in different parts, adding that the training had to be done in 2 months. At the same time, Libya that wasn’t aware of Iranians training in Syria accepted to put a limited number of missiles in Iran’s possession, while being in charge of firing them. The missiles come from Libya to Iran, and Libyan officers launched them. These attacks to some extent made Saddam retreat. But halfway through, the Libyans left Iran alone and went back to their country after making the missiles and launchers inoperative. When Iranian missile response ceased, Saddam intensified its attacks. Under these conditions, Tehrani Moghadam and his team entered the scene. In their first step, they had to reverse-engineer the missile and launcher. In 17 days, they could prepare the first missile, and fire it towards the enemy. This was the beginning of self-belief for Tehrani Moghadam and his men.