1985: Then-speaker of the Iranian Majlis Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani leads a high-level delegation to Libya, Syria, North Korea, and China, reportedly to acquire missiles.
1985: Iran receives its first Scud-Bs from Libya.
1987: China sells Iran “Silkworm” anti-ship cruise missiles.
1987: Iran reportedly receives approximately 100 Scud-B missiles from North Korea. Iran had allegedly agreed to finance North Korea’s longer-range missile program in exchange for missile technology and the option to buy the finished missiles.
1988: China agrees to provide Iran with equipment and know-how to develop and test medium-range ballistic missiles.
1988: Iran successfully tests the 160 km range Mushak-160 missile.
1990: China and Iran reportedly sign a 10-year agreement for scientific cooperation and the transfer of military technology.
1991: Iran test-fires a ballistic missile identified by U.S. intelligence as a North Korean Scud-C.
1991: Syrian chief of staff General Hikmat Shihabi reportedly visits Tehran to discuss building a factory in Syria for joint development and production of surface-to-surface missiles.
1992: The U.S. Department of State sanctions Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for engaging in “missile technology proliferation activities” with North Korea.
1995: Iran receives four Scud Transporter Erector Launchers (TELs) from North Korea.
1996: The State Department sanctions North Korea’s Changgwang Sinyong Corporation and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and State Purchasing Office for “missile technology proliferation activities.”
1996: Iran test-fires a Chinese-built C-802 surface-to-surface cruise missile.
1996: U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) states during a Congressional hearing that U.S. intelligence believes China has “delivered dozens, perhaps hundreds, of missile guidance systems and computerized tools to Iran.”
1996: The Washington Times reports that, according to a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report entitled “Arms Transfers to State Sponsors of Terrorism,” China has supplied Iran with missile technology, including gyroscopes and accelerometers, as well as test equipment and components for an advanced radar system.
November 1996: Iran reportedly fires, for the first time, a Chinese C-802 anti-ship missile from one of its ten Chinese-built “Houdong” patrol boats.
June 1997: Iran reportedly tests two Chinese-built C-801K air-launched cruise missiles from a vintage F-4 Phantom, marking the country’s first successful test of an air-launched cruise missile.
September 1997: The Russian INOR Scientific Center reportedly agrees to supply Iran’s Instrumentation Factories Plan with a high-strength steel alloy and three types of alloy foil used to shield missile guidance equipment.
December 1997: U.S. satellite reconnaissance reportedly picks up the heat signature of a missile engine test at the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) research facility, south of Tehran.
January 1998: According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group, Iran has completed development of the Shahab-3 medium-range missile and it is ready for production.
July 1998: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian sources, the 16-meter long missile can carry a 1,000 kg payload 1,300 km. The missile is believed to be a single-stage, liquid-fueled, scaled-up version of North Korea’s Nodong missile.
July 1998: The State Department imposes sanctions on seven Russian entities for engaging in “proliferation activities related to Iran’s missile programs.” Designated entities include Baltic State Technical University, Europalace 2000, Glavkosmos, Grafit, INOR Scientific Center, MOSO Company, and Polyus Scientific Production Association.
September 1998: Iran publicly displays the Shahab-3 missile at a military parade. Also on display are five air-to-air missiles, Chinese C-801 and C-802 anti-ship missiles, and three Iranian-built, solid propellant surface-to-surface missiles, including the Zelzal-2, the Nazeat, and the Shahin.
January 1999: The State Department imposes sanctions on Russia’s D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), and The Scientific Research and Design Institute of Power Technology for engaging in “proliferation activities related to Iran’s nuclear and/or missile programs.”
February 1999: Iran’s defense minister Ali Shamkhani announces that the Shahab-4 missile is in production not for military purposes, but for launching a satellite. U.S. intelligence reportedly believes the missile is derived from the 1950s-era Soviet SS-4 “Sandal” medium-range missile, which had a maximum range of 2,000 km.
April 1999: Iran announces the successful test fire of the Sayyad-1, an advanced anti-aircraft missile designed and manufactured by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).
October 1999: Iran reportedly sells Scud-B and Scud-C missiles to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Iranian military officers and technicians are on hand to help assemble the missiles.
November 1999: U.S. intelligence reportedly believes that North Korea recently sold Iran 12 Nodong missile engines.
January 2000: Iran commissions three production lines at the Education and Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. They will allegedly help Iran become self-sufficient in the production of HTPB resin, aluminum powder, and potassium chlorite—all of which are useful in the production of solid rocket propellant.
February 2000: Iran reportedly tests a Shahab-3 missile equipped with a North Korean engine. The missile was launched from a TEL at an airbase of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Iranian sources say the missile has an inertial navigation guidance system and a circular error probable (CEP) of approximately three kilometers.
March 2000: Israeli and U.S. officials reportedly agree that Iran can deploy the Shahab-3 missile.
March 2000: The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-178) is signed into law, authorizing sanctions against persons transferring to Iran materials and technology capable of contributing to Iran’s cruise and ballistic missile programs.
April 2000: The State Department imposes sanctions on Changgwang Sinyong, a North Korean company, and Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), and SANAM Industrial Group for missile technology proliferation activities.
July 2000: Iran successfully tests the Shahab-3 missile, according to Iranian state media.
August 2000: In its report on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says Iran has made considerable progress in the development of ballistic missiles, and that entities in Russia, North Korea, and China continued to supply the largest amount of ballistic missile-related goods, technology, and expertise to Iran.
September 2000: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile, but the missile reportedly explodes shortly after launch.
May 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. According to Iranian authorities, the test is successful.
July 2002: Iran tests the Shahab-3 missile. The test is reportedly unsuccessful.
September 2002: Iran claims to have successfully flight tested the Fateh-110, a single-stage, solid-fueled missile with at least a 200 km range. Iran’s state media reports the inauguration of a facility to produce the Fateh-110.
May 2003: The State Department imposes sanctions on two Moldovan companies, Cuanta S.A. and Computer and Communicatti SRL, on a Moldovan national, Mikhail Pavlovich Vladov, and on Iran’s Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) for contributing to missile programs in Iran.
July 2003: On July 20, a ceremony is held to mark the distribution of the Shahab-3 to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The ceremony follows by several weeks what an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman calls the “final test” of the Shahab-3 missile.
November 2003: Iran’s defense ministry announces that Iran does not have any program “to build the Shahab-4 missile.”
November 2003: In its report to Congress on worldwide proliferation, the CIA says that Iran’s ballistic missile inventory is among the largest in the Middle East and that entities in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and China have helped Iran progress in ballistic missile production.
January 2004: Iran begins production of the Raad cruise missile and the DM-3b active-radar sensor for the Noor anti-ship missile.
May 2004: Iran says it has begun manufacturing a cruise missile called the Kowsar (Kosar), an indigenous stealth anti-ship missile made by the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). The missile is said to have three variants: shore-launched, air-launched, and ship-launched.
August 2004: Iran announces the successful test of an upgraded Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, which reportedly is longer than the original version, with a larger fuel tank, a “baby bottle-shaped” reentry vehicle, and an increased range.
September 2004: Iran displays a number of missiles during the Holy Defense Week military parade, including the Zelzal, Nazeat, Shahab-2, and Shahab-3. Reportedly, two Shahab-3 variants, featuring a triconic warhead and assessed to have improved ranges of 1,500 km and 2,000 km, respectively, are displayed.
October 2004: Iran claims that it has successfully tested a more accurate version of the Shahab-3 missile.
December 2004: According to NCRI, Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) is developing several clandestine missiles, including the Ghadr, the Shahab-4, and the Zelzal 2, and is working on nuclear and chemical warheads.
2005: North Korea allegedly supplies Iran with 18 missile assembly kits for the BM-25 (or Musudan), a modified version of Russia’s SS-N-6. The SS-N-6 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled, submarine missile with a range of 2,400 to 3,000 km.
June 2005: President George W. Bush issues Executive Order 13382 on Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferators and Their Supporters. The order freezes the assets of specially designated proliferators of WMD and WMD delivery systems, as well as members of their support networks; four Iranian entities are designated under this Order, including Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG), Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
December 2005: According to NCRI, Iran is using underground facilities to hide missile command and control centers and to build nuclear-capable missiles.
March-April 2006: Iran holds “Holy Prophet” war games in the Persian Gulf, involving the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Naval Force and Iran’s regular naval and armed forces. According to Iran, missiles tested include the Shahab-2, the Kowsar, the sonar-evading Hoot (Hud, Hut) underwater missile, the surface-to-air Fajr-3, and an upgraded Nour cruise missile. Reportedly, the Nour (Noor) may be a variant of the Chinese C-802, the Kowsar a variant of the Chinese C-801, and the Hoot based on the Russian-developed Shkval rocket-powered torpedo.
June 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposes financial sanctions on four Chinese companies, Beijing Alite Technologies Company Ltd. (ALCO), LIMMT Economic and Trade Company, Ltd., China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and China National Precision Machinery Import/Export Corporation (CPMIEC), and on the U.S.-based CGWIC representative, G.W. Aerospace, Inc., for supplying Iran with missile-related and dual-use components.
July 2006: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on SANAM Industrial Group and Ya Mahdi Industries Group for their ties to missile proliferation; both are Iranian companies subordinate to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).
August-September 2006: During “Blow of Zolfaqar” war games, Iran claims to have successfully tested a radar-evading, ship-launched missile called the Sagheb, and a new surface-to-surface missile called the Saeqeh. U.S. military intelligence reportedly determines that the video of the Sagheb test released by the Iranian government is actually of an earlier Chinese missile test.
November 2006: Iran tests several missiles during the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-led “Great Prophet 2” military maneuvers, including the Shahab-2, Shahab-3, Fateh-110, Zelzal, and Scud-B. Iran claims the Shahab-3 was tested with cluster warheads and achieved a range of approximately 1,900 km. Anti-ship missiles, including the Noor, Kosar, and Nasr, are also reportedly tested.
December 2006: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1737, imposing sanctions to prevent the transfer to Iran of materials, as well as technical or financial assistance, which might contribute to Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile development. The resolution designates eight Iranian entities involved in missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.
January 2007: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on Bank Sepah, a state-owned Iranian financial institution. Bank Sepah is described by Treasury as “the financial linchpin of Iran’s missile procurement network.”
February 2007: Iran tests the Tor-M1 short-range air defense system provided by Russia. The Tor-M1 system has a reported range of 12 km, which may be increased to 20 km. Iran’s IRCG Air Force Commander claims that the system is capable of tracking 48 targets and engaging 8 targets using electro-optic and infrared systems.
February 2007: Iran claims to have tested a suborbital research rocket as part of the country’s space program, which may include an effort to develop an independent satellite launch capability. U.S. missile launch sensors reportedly detect no such test.
March 2007: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1747, imposing further sanctions to prevent the transfer of arms and provision of financial assistance to Iran, and designating additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.
June 2007: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian companies involved in missile work for Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which directs Iran’s missile program. Fajr Industries Group is an AIO subordinate involved in the production of missile guidance systems and Mizan Machine Manufacturing Group is an AIO front company involved in procurement.
September 2007: Iran displays the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1) missile during a military parade, claiming it to be an upgraded version of the medium-range Shahab-3 with a range of 1,800 km. Experts say the Ghadr-1 appears identical to a Shahab-3 variant displayed in 2004. The Ghadr-1, along with other missiles displayed during the military parade, including the Shahab-3, Fateh-110, and Zelzal-3, are in possession of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Air Force.
November 2007: Iran says it has built a new missile, the “Ashura” (or Ashoura), with a range of 2,000 km. Descriptions of the Ashura vary from a multi-stage, solid-propellant missile to a missile that uses non-SCUD technology. It is reportedly depicted in a U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) report as a stretched version of the liquid-propelled Shahab-3, fitted with larger tail fins, and in an April 2008 Israeli report as a two-stage solid-propellant missile with a triconic nose shape.
February 2008: Iran claims to have successfully launched its Kavoshgar-1 rocket into space. Iran claims that the Kavoshgar is a two-stage rocket, that it reached an altitude of 200 km, and that it successfully made contact with the ground station. Private analysts believe that the Kavoshgar is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile and that the space center, located 230 km southeast of Tehran, has the potential to be used in developing long-range missiles. Iran also inaugurates a space center with a satellite control and tracking station and displays its “Omid” satellite.
March 2008: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1803, extending travel restrictions and asset freezes to—and in some cases instituting a travel ban on—additional Iranian entities, and barring Iran from buying almost all nuclear and missile-related technology.
July 2008: Iran claims to have successfully test-fired a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 km, as well as Zelzal and Fateh surface-to-surface missiles, during “Great Prophet III” war games run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Persian Gulf.
August 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on two Iranian firms, the Safety Equipment Procurement Company (SEP Co.) and Joza Industrial Company for their links to procurement for Iran’s missile program.
August 2008: Iran launches the “Safir,” a two-stage, liquid fueled rocket based on the Shahab-3 missile, according to analysts. The rocket is about 22 meters long, with a diameter of 1.25 meters, and weighing over 26 tons. According to Iran, the rocket is intended as a satellite launch vehicle. Contrary to initial reports, however, the launch does not place a satellite into orbit.
September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen of its subsidiaries for facilitating shipments of military cargo for Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities. MODAFL has brokered transactions involving ballistic missile-related materials and technologies.
September 2008: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions six Iranian military firms. Three of these firms, Iran Electronics Industries, Shiraz Electronics Industries, and Iran Communications Industries, make communications equipment for Iran’s military. Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) develops and produces unmanned aerial vehicles and other military aircraft, and its subsidiary, Farasakht Industries, makes aerospace tools and equipment. These entities are owned or controlled by Iran’s Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).
November 2008: Iran claims to have successfully tested the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil), a two-stage, solid fuel, surface-to-surface missile with a range of nearly 2,000 km. According to private analysts, the missile appears to be larger than Iran’s Shahab-3, with a total length of about 22 meters, and shares some design features with Soviet-era ballistic missiles.
December 2008: Western intelligence sources reportedly state that in 2008 Iran more than tripled the number of operational Shahab-3 missiles, with over 100 missiles now delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
February 2009: Iran successfully launches the “Omid” telecommunications and research satellite into orbit, from Semnan province, using its own rocket, the Safir 2. The rocket is 22 meters long, weighs 26 tons and has a diameter of 1.25 meters, according to the head of Iran’s Space Agency. It is a two-stage rocket that lofted the 27 kg Omid into low earth orbit at an altitude of 250 km.
April – May 2009: Iranian officials are reportedly present when North Korea launches a long-range rocket (Unha-2) in April and detonates a nuclear device in May.
May 2009: Iran successfully test fires the Sejil-2 (Sejjil-2, Sijjil-2) missile from Semnan province. Iranian authorities claim that this version of the missile has improved sensors and that production of the missile has begun.
June 2009: Iran launches mass production of a ground-to-air missile defense system, called Shahin, reportedly capable of tracing and targeting aircraft within a range of about 40 km.
September 2009: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) holds “Grand Prophet” war games. The Shahab-3, Sejil, Shahab-1 and 2, Fateh, Tondar, Zelzal, and various short-range missiles are test fired. An Iranian news organization reports that the Sejil’s (Sejjil, Sijjil) operational range is 2,000 to 2,500 km.
December 2009: Iran successfully test-fires an upgraded version of the Sejil-2 (Sejill-2, Sijjil-2) missile. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says that the new version has a shorter launch time and greater maneuverability.
February 2010: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that Iran may have conducted work related to the design of a nuclear warhead for a ballistic missile, including missile re-entry body engineering and “engineering design and computer modeling studies aimed at producing a new design for the payload chamber of a missile.”
February 2010: Iran launches the Kavoshgar-3 rocket into space carrying living creatures. Iran also unveils a new space launch vehicle, the Simorgh-3, and three new satellites. According to Iran’s Space Agency, the Simorgh-3 can place a 100 kg satellite into a 500 km orbit. The launch vehicle reportedly uses a configuration similar to that of North Korea’s Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.
March 2010: Iran reportedly begins the indigenous production of the Chinese-designed Nasr-1 anti-ship missile. The Nasr-1, which can carry a 130 kg warhead to a range of 38 km, is based on the Chinese C-704 missile.
March 2010: An analysis of satellite imagery by Jane’s Defence Weekly reveals significant expansion of the launch facility at Iran’s Semnan space center. The expansion includes the construction of two new launch and engine test pads as well as a number of support buildings.
April 2010: Iran displays several missiles during a military parade, including the Shahab-3, the Ghadr-1 (Qadr-1), and the Sejil (Sejjil, Sijjil). The Shahab-3 is a liquid-fueled missile with a range of up to 2,000 km that is capable of carrying a 760–1,000 kg warhead. The Ghadr-1 is reported to be an optimized version of the Shahab-3. The Sejil is a solid-fuel, two-stage missile. These missiles were developed by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).
April 2010: The Mersad air defense system becomes operational, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. This system is reportedly equipped with advanced radar signal processing technology and electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition. The system uses Shahin missiles, which are reportedly an upgraded version of the U.S.-made HAWK missile supplied to Iran in the 1970s.
June 2010: The U.N. Security Council adopts resolution 1929, barring Iran from procuring missiles, missile systems, and related spare parts as defined by the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms, and barring countries from providing Iran with training, servicing, or other maintenance related to such missiles. The resolution also “decides” that Iran should not undertake any activity related to nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including launches, and designates additional Iranian entities involved in ballistic missile activities, for which financial resources must be frozen.
June 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382 and U.N. Security Council resolution 1929, the Treasury Department sanctions the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF) and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Missile Command for their ties to Iran’s ballistic missile programs.
August 2010: Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announces the successful test launch of the liquid-fueled Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) missile. Vahidi also announces the test of an upgraded Fateh-110 missile, which he claims is more accurate and can travel farther than earlier versions of this missile.
September 2010: An upgraded variant of the solid-fueled Fateh-110 missile is allegedly delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force (IRGCAF).
September 2010: The government of Singapore interdicts a shipment of 18 tons of aluminum powder bound for Takin Tejarat Omid Iranian in Iran. The aluminum powder could be used to make solid propellant for missiles and is among the materials that Iran is barred from importing. The quantity of aluminum powder would yield approximately 100 tons of rocket propellant suitable for use in Iran’s Fateh or Zelzal missiles.
September 2010: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions the German bank Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank. Among other activities, the bank, along with the Export Development Bank of Iran, “enabled Iran’s missile programs to purchase more than $3 million of material.”
September 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev bans delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Iran. The S-300 is capable of destroying aircraft at a range of 150 km and at altitudes of up to 27 km.
October 2010: A missile with a nosecone similar to that of Iran’s Shahab-3 is displayed in a military parade in North Korea, leading some analysts to cite it as evidence of Iran-North Korea technical cooperation on missile development.
October 2010: Iran conducts an unannounced test of its Sejil/Ashura missile, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts.
January 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department announces sanctions against Shahid Ahmad Kazemi Industries Group and M. Babaie Industries. Both companies are linked to Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and have been used to solicit foreign technologies for Iran’s ballistic missile program.
January 2011: Iran inaugurates ten new laboratories for testing space structures and complete rocket systems. These facilities reportedly feature testing rigs for rocket sections, a thermal test rig for heat shields, and fixtures for aeroelasticity testing of complete multistage rockets, all of which are controlled items under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
February 2011: Iran tests a supersonic, anti-ship ballistic missile, called the Khalij Fars, which Iran claims can carry a 650 kg warhead to a range of 300 km. According to Jane’s Missiles and Rockets, it is a new variant of the existing Fateh A-110 and uses a similar launcher.
February 2011: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on eleven entities in an illicit procurement network supporting Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Led by Milad Jafari, the network used companies in Iran and Turkey to procure metal parts, including steel and aluminum alloys, for Iran’s missile program.
February 2011: Iran conducts an unannounced test of several missiles, including the Khalij-Fasr (variant of Fateh-110), Shahab-3, and Sejil, according to a U.N. Panel of Experts.
March 2011: Iran launches a Kavoshgar-4 rocket into space carrying a test capsule designed to hold a monkey.
May 2011: Iran begins mass production of the Qiam-1 (Qaem-1) ballistic missile and delivery of the missile system to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
May 2011: According to a U.N. Panel of Experts report, Iran and North Korea are suspected of exchanging ballistic missile technology, using regularly scheduled Air Koryo and Iran Air flights, in violation of sanctions on both countries.
June 2011: Iran launches the Rasad satellite into space. The 15.3 kg satellite is launched on the Safir, a two-stage rocket which weighs 26 tons, measures 22 meters in length, and is 1.25 meters wide, according to Iranian officials. The satellite is designed to be placed in a 260 km orbit.
June 2011: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fires fourteen missiles as part of their “Great Prophet 6” exercises. The missiles include one Shahab-3 missile, two Shahab-1 missiles, two Shahab-2 missiles, and nine Zelzal missiles.
June 2011: An Iranian state television broadcast reveals underground missile silos that Iran claims would make its missiles less vulnerable to attack and allow for the launch of larger missiles.
August 2011: Iran inaugurates a carbon fiber production line at Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). Carbon fiber composites have applications in missiles, specifically in items such as rocket motor exit cones and nozzles, reentry vehicle nosetips, heat shields, and leading edges of control surfaces.
September 2011: Iran’s Defense Ministry reportedly delivers the Qader anti-ship cruise missile to Iran’s Navy and to the IRGC’s Naval Force. According to Iran’s defense minister, the Qader has a range of 200 km.
November 2011: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that under Project 111, Iran allegedly studied how to integrate a new spherical payload onto the Shahab-3 missile, including a high explosive and detonation package suitable for use in an implosion device.
December 2011 – January 2012: Iran test-fires the Qader, Nasr, and Mehrab missiles during the “Velayat-90” naval exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The Qader is an anti-ship cruise missile with a range of 200 km and is described as an upgrade of Iran’s Noor missile. The Nasr is a short-range anti-ship missile, which was tested for the first time during the exercise. The Mehrab is a naval surface-to-air missile with anti-radar and anti-jamming capabilities, according to Iranian Naval officials.
February 2012: Iran successfully launches the Navid-e Elm-o (Navid) satellite into orbit using the Safir launch-vehicle, according to Iran’s Ministry of Defense. The satellite weighs roughly 50 kg and is set to orbit at an altitude between 250 km of 375 km. According to Iranian defense officials, the Navid was developed in coordination with Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and the Sharif University of Technology.
February 2012: Iran inaugurates a production line for the Zafar naval cruise missile, which is a short-range, anti-ship, radar-guided missile, according to Iran’s defense minister. A first shipment of missiles is delivered to the IRGC. The Zafar appears to be a modified version of the Chinese C-701AR missile, according to analysts.
March 2012: David Levick, a 50 year old Australian national, and his company ICM Components Inc., are indicted by a U.S. federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for illegally exporting to Iran equipment that could be used in missiles, drones, and torpedoes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Equipment reportedly included VG-34 Series Miniature Vertical Gyroscopes used to control the pitch and roll of missiles and torpedoes.
April 2012: According to a U.S. Department of Defense report, Iran may be technically capable of testing an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015, and continues to develop the Ashura missile and an extended-range variant of the Shabab-3 missile. Iran also provides missiles and rockets to militant groups in the region through the IRGC Qods Force, including Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah, and the Taliban.
April 2012: A group of 12 officials from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, reportedly attend a failed rocket launch in North Korea.
July 2012: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reportedly fires tens of short- and medium-range missiles during the “Great Prophet 7” war games, including the Shahab 1, 2, and 3, as well as the Fateh, Qiyam (Qiam), Tondar, Khalij Fars, and Zelzal.
July 2012: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes financial sanctions on entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including, Electronic Components Industries Co. (ECI), Information Systems Iran (ISIRAN), Advanced Information and Communication Technology Center, Digital Media Lab DML, Value-Added Services Laboratory (VASL), Ministry of Defense Logistics Export (MODLEX), International General Resourcing FZE, and Malek Ashtar University. Three individuals are also sanctioned, including IRGC Navy Commander Ali Fadavi, Daniel Frosch, and Hamid Reza Rabiee.
August 2012: Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) reportedly test-fires a fourth generation Fateh-110 ballistic missile. The Fatah-110 is a solid fuel missile with a range of 300 km.
September 2012: Iran displays the Raad (Thunder) air defense system, which carries missiles with a range of 50 km and is capable of striking a target at 22,000 meters, according to IRGC General Ami Ali Hajizadeh.
October 2012: The European Union bans exports to Iran of graphite, raw or semi-finished metals, including aluminum and steel, and software for integrating industrial processes.
November 2012: IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari announces that Iran has provided Fajr-5 rocket technology to Hamas.
2012-2013: According to a U.N. Panel of Experts report, a German citizen with an Iranian background made several attempts to procure dual-use items for Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group (SBIG), which is responsible for Iran’s solid-fuel missiles. The items were procured in Germany or third countries and trans-shipped via the United Arab Emirates to a SBIG front company in Iran.
January 2013: Iran reportedly begins mass production of the Ya Zahra short-range air defense system. Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi describes the Ya Zahra system as being able to detect, track, and destroy multiple short range targets simultaneously.
February 2013: An Iranian shipment of explosives, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, IED precursors, and man-portable anti-aircraft missiles, intended for insurgents operating in Yemen, is intercepted by the Government of Yemen.
May 2013: Israel reportedly carries out a series of airstrikes near Damascus aimed at destroying an Iranian shipment of surface-to-surface missiles, including Fateh-110s.
May 2013: Iran displays at least 26 transporter erector launchers (TELs), reportedly including some large enough to carry the Shahab-3 and the Sejjil ballistic missiles. The TELs are displayed at a ceremony to mark their delivery to the IRGC.
May 2013: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on fourteen entities for their role in Iran’s international procurement and proliferation operations, including Deputy Defense Minister Reza Mozaffarinia. Mozaffarinia is also dean of Malek Ashtar University and has made “significant contributions” to Iran’s missile and space launch programs, according to the Treasury Department.
June 2013: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurates the Imam Sadeq Observation and Monitoring Center, a space monitoring center in the Delijan District of the Markazi Province. The center is equipped with radar, electro-optical, and radio tracking, and was built with help from the Ministry of Defense.
July 2013: U.S. military intelligence reports that Iran could develop and test an ICBM capable of reaching the United States by 2015 and that Iran’s two-stage Simorgh space launch vehicle could serve as a test bed for developing ICBM technologies.
August 2013: Iran appears to be developing a new space launch facility 40 km southeast of the city of Shahrud, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by IHS Jane’s. The new site has a larger launch pad than the existing Semnan space center and is equipped with a horizontal rocket checkout facility and a 23 meter launch tower. Both the Semnan and Shahrud facilities are believed to be capable of launching Iran’s Simorgh satellite launch vehicle.
September 2013: Iran displays its Shahab-3, Sejil, and Ghadr missiles in a military parade marking the start of Sacred Defense Week. The solid-fuel Sejil missile has two stages and a greater range than the Shahab-3.
October 2013: U.S. authorities indict Reza Olangian on charges of attempting to acquire and transfer surface-to-air missiles to Iran.
November 2013: A report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates that Iran is “unlikely” to deploy an operational ICBM before 2020.
December 2013: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on several Iranian entities for their links to Iran’s ballistic missile and military aviation programs, including Maro Sanat Company, Navid Composite Material Company, and Qods Aviation Industries, as well as Qods front companies Fan Pardazan and Ertebat Gostar Novin and Qods’s commercial manager Reza Amidi. Navid Composite is building a carbon fiber production plant in Iran, according to the Treasury Department.
December 2013: Iran launches a monkey into space for the second time, using a liquid-fueled rocket that travels 120 km into space and returns to earth after 15 minutes, according to Iranian scientists.
January 2014: Iran’s ballistic missiles are “inherently capable of delivering WMD,” according to a worldwide threat assessment by the U.S. intelligence community. The intelligence community also assesses that Iran’s space launch program provides the country with the means to develop longer-range missiles, including an ICBM, and that Iran maintains the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.
February 2014: Iran displays two satellites developed by a researcher at Malek Ashtar University. “Tadbir” (Wisdom) is an improved version of the “Navid-e-Elm-o-Sanat” (The Promise of Science and Industry) satellite, with upgraded imagery resolution, while the “Khalij-e-Fars” (Persian Gulf) satellite supports secure wireless communications.
February 2014: German authorities reportedly arrest a German-Iranian man, Dr. Ali Reza B., on charges of providing Iran with components for its missile program. The equipment, worth nearly $315,000, includes dual-use items such as vacuum pumps and valves.
February 2014: Iran announces the test of a ballistic missile known as the “Barani.” Iran claims the missile has a new submunition warhead able to better evade missile defense systems and attack multiple targets simultaneously.
March 2014: Israel intercepts a ship carrying Iranian weapons bound for Gaza. The arms seized from the Klos C, a cargo ship, include M-302 rockets, which are capable of reaching any point in Israel.
March 2014: According to a senior State Department official, Li Fangwei, a Chinese businessman indicted in 2009 for alleged sales of missile parts to Iran, remains a major supplier of Tehran’s missile program. Both Li (also known as Karl Lee) and his company, LIMMT, have been sanctioned by the United States.
March 2014: Iran’s defense minister announces the delivery of more accurate versions of the Qadr H, Qiam, Fateh 110, and Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf) missiles to the IRGC.
April 2014: Spain’s Civil Guard uncovers a network that was attempting to export dual-use industrial machinery to Iran that could be used to manufacture missiles, arresting three Spaniards and one Iranian.
April 2014: The Iranian Navy announces the deployment of the Ghadir anti-ship cruise missile on warships and coastal defense units. The Ghadir is an upgrade over the Nour and Qader missiles, according to Iranian naval officials.
April 2014: The Iranian military announces the deployment of the Sayyad 3 solid-fuel missile on its S-200 air defense system.
May 2014: The IRGC Aerospace Force announces it has equipped its Zelzal missiles, a 300-km range solid-fuel system, with a multiple reentry vehicle (MRV) conventional payload.
May 2014: The IRGC Aerospace Force unveils variants of the Fateh-100 ballistic missile called the Hormuz-1 (anti-radar) and Hormuz-2 (anti-ship). Both missiles reportedly have a range of up to 300 km.
August 2014: The Iranian military announces the successful test of the Bavar 373, an Iranian-built version of the Russian S-300 air defense system.
February 2015: In its first satellite launch since 2012, Iran successfully sends its fourth domestically built satellite, the Fajr, into orbit. The satellite, which was launched from the 21-meter, 26-ton Safir-1B launch vehicle, had a launch weight of 52 kg, with a height of 49 cm and a width of 35 cm, according to media and analyst reports. Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) is responsible for the launcher; Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) built the satellite.
March 2015: Iran’s Defense Ministry unveils the Soumar missile, a ground-launched cruise missile with a reported approximate range of 2,500 to 3,000 km. It is reportedly a copy of the Russian-made Raduga Kh-55 cruise missile, twelve of which Iran acquired covertly.
March 2015: Iran begins mass production of its Qadir cruise missile, which reportedly has a range of 300 km.
July 2015: The P5+1 group of countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) agree to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. In a related action, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2231, which prohibits the supply, sale, or transfer of missile-related items to Iran until October 2023, or until the IAEA confirms that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities. The resolution also calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” over the same period of time.
August 2015: The Iranian military unveils the Fateh-313, a solid-fuel missile with a reported range of up to 500 km.
October 2015: Iran’s Defense Ministry announces the successful test of the Emad, a ballistic missile with a reported range of 1,700 km. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the Emad is not a new missile but rather a steerable reentry vehicle that can be fitted atop the Shahab-3 and Ghadr-series rockets to improve their accuracy. A confidential report of a U.N. Panel of Experts later determines that the Emad launch is a violation of U.N. resolution 1929.
October 2015: The IRGC releases footage of an underground missile launch facility. According to Iranian news reports, the military base is 500 meters underground and one of hundreds located throughout the country.
November 2015: Iran’s defense minister confirms that the contract for the delivery of the S-300 air defense system from Russian to Iran has been signed. According to media reports, the systems will be delivered by September 2016 and Iranian military personnel will receive training at the Mozharsky Academy in St. Petersburg.
November 2015: Iran tests the liquid-fueled, medium-range Ghadr-110, an improved version of the Shahab-3, with a reported range of about 1,900 km. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said that “the U.S. is conducting a serious review of the reported incident” and would bring the matter to the U.N. Security Council if it determined the test violated U.N. resolutions.
January 2016: With the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 takes effect and officially terminates the provisions of previous Iran-related resolutions: resolutions 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1929 (2010), and 2224 (2015).
January 2016: The Treasury Department sanctions eleven entities involved in illicit procurement for Iran’s ballistic missile program, including three Iranian officials—Sayyed Javad Musavi, Sayyed Medhi Farahi, and Seyed Mirahmad Nooshin—directly linked to cooperation with the North Korean government on missile development. According to the Treasury Department, Iranian missile technicians from the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG) traveled to North Korea to work on an 80-ton rocket booster jointly developed with the North Korean government. Iranian officials also coordinated shipments of missile technology from the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) to Iran.
March 2016: The IRGC test-fires the Qiam-1, Shahab-3, Ghadr-H, and Ghadr-F ballistic missiles during two days of missile exercises.
March 2016: According to Reuters, a joint U.S., British, French, and German letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Spain’s U.N. Ambassador calls Iran’s ballistic missile tests in March 2016 “inconsistent with” and “in defiance of” U.N. resolution 2231. The letter states that the missiles are “inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons” and asks the Security Council to discuss “appropriate responses” to Iran’s actions.
March 2016: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department sanctions two Iranian defense firms for their involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile program. Shahid Nuri Industries and Shahid Movahed Industries are designated as subordinates of Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG), which is responsible for Iran’s liquid-fueled ballistic missile program.
April 2016: Iran reportedly conducts its first test launch of the Simorgh space launch vehicle, which is judged partly successful by U.S. intelligence agencies. The event reportedly is either an unsuccessful launch or a test that was not intended to send a satellite into orbit, according to U.S. defense officials. According to analysts, the Simorgh is a two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket believed to be similar in size and based on the technology of the 85-ton North Korean Unha rocket. Iranian Space Agency officials state that the Simorgh is capable of launching a 100 kg payload into a 500 km orbit.
May 2016: A senior Iranian defense official announces the recent test of a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km and a margin of error of 8 meters. Iran’s defense minister subsequently refutes the specifics of this claim but does not deny the missile test itself.
May 2016: Iran’s defense minister announces that at least one S-300 air defense system has been delivered from Russia to Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base in Iran. Russian officials state that at least four S-300 batteries will be delivered to Iran by the end of 2016.
July 2016: Iran reportedly tests a variant of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile for the first time. The missile reportedly explodes shortly after launch.
July 2016: Iran reportedly receives the first delivery of missiles for the S-300 air defense system from Russia. According to Iranian news outlets, the missiles appear to be for the advanced S-300-PMU2 version of the system.
September 2016: Iran test-fires a new short-range ballistic missile, the Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar), for the first time. The Zolfaghar is reportedly a variant of the solid-fueled Fateh-110 ballistic missile series, with a range of 700 km. Coinciding with the test, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan inaugurates the Zolfaghar production line.
September 2016: Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan informs the Iranian parliament that production of the Sejil, Ghadir, and Khorramshahr missiles will begin by March 2017.
October 2016: Russia completes delivery of the S-300 air defense systems to Iran, according to news reports citing Russia’s state arms export agency.
December 2016: Iran reportedly successfully tests the Shahab-3 ballistic missile as part of a military exercise.
January 2017: The Iranian parliament approves a bill that requires the government to increase the country’s missile and air defense capabilities. The bill is part of Iran’s Sixth Economic Development Plan (2016-2021).
January 2017: Iran tests a new missile called the Khorramshahr. The Khorramshahr is a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a payload greater than 500 kg to a range of over 1,000 km.
February 2017: U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn condemns Iran’s recent missile test and announces that the U.S. has officially put Iran “on notice.”
February 2017: Iran reportedly tests a nuclear-capable cruise missile called the Sumar for the first time, according to German intelligence officials. The missile has a reported range of 2,000 to 3,000 km.
February 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including Abdollah Asgharzadeh and entities related to his Iran- and China-based procurement network, and MKS International and its CEO Kambiz Rostamian. Mostafa Zahedi, Mohammad Magham, Ghodrat Zargari, Ervin Danesh Aryan Company, and Zist Tajhiz Pooyesh Company are also sanctioned for being tied to Mabrooka Trading.
February 2017: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tests several missile systems during the “Defenders of the Velayat Skies” aerospace drills, according to Iranian news outlets. The missile systems reportedly tested include the Khordad-III, which has a reported range of 75 km and the ability to hit multiple targets at once, the Tabas, which is also capable of engaging multiple targets and has a reported range of 60 km, and the Sayyad-II, which has a reported range of 75 km and the ability to counter electronic warfare.
February 2017: Iran reportedly tests the short-range Mersad surface-to-air-missile to a range of 55 km.
February 2017: Iranian officials claim to successfully test two new missiles during naval drills, including the Nasir cruise missile and the Dehlaviyeh, an advanced anti-ship guided missile.
March 2017: Iran successfully tests the S-300 air defense system during the “Damavand” war games.
April 2017: The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy is formally equipped with the Nasir anti-ship cruise missile, according to the Iranian Defense Ministry.
May 2017: Iran reportedly attempts to test a submarine-launched cruise missile in the Strait of Hormuz from a Ghadir-class “midget” submarine. The Ghadir is an Iranian variant of the North Korean Yono-class submarine.
May 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on several entities linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program, including two Iranian defense officials, Morteza Farasatpour and Rahim Ahmadi, as well as one Iranian company, Matin Sanat Nik Andishan. The Treasury Department also sanctions Chinese national Ruan Runling and three Chinese companies—Shanghai North Begins International, Shanghai Gang Quan Trade Co., and Shanghai North Transway International Trading Co.—for selling navigation and guidance technology to Shiraz Electronics Industries (SEI).
May 2017: A senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander claims that Iran has a third underground missile production facility, which he says was built “in recent years.”
June 2017: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fires six Zolfaghar (Zulfiqar) ballistic missiles at an ISIS command center and car bomb operation in Deir ez-Zor, Syria. An IRGC spokesman says the strike was in response to recent terrorist attacks in Tehran.
June 2017: According to NCRI, Iran has received assistance from North Korea in constructing missile sites in Iran, including underground facilities to produce, store, and maintain missiles. NCRI also claims to identify the locations of 42 missile sites in Iran, 12 of which were previously undisclosed.
July 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the State Department imposes sanctions on entities involved in the research, development, and testing of Iran’s ballistic missiles, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization (ASF SSJO) and the IRGC Research and Self Sufficiency Jehad Organization (RSSJO).
July 2017: Iran inaugurates the production line of the Sayyad-3 (Hunter-3), a surface-to-air missile (SAM) that will reportedly be used with the Talash-2 air defense system. According to the Iran’s defense minister, the missile has a maximum range of 120 km and a maximum altitude of 27 km.
July 2017: Iran launches the Simorgh satellite launch vehicle from the Imam Khomeini National Space Center. The Simorgh reportedly can carry a payload of up to 250 kg into an orbit with a maximum altitude of 500 km. According to U.S. officials, the launch was unsuccessful.
July 2017: Pursuant to Executive Order 13382, the Treasury Department imposes sanctions on six Iranian entities subordinate to Shahid Hemat Industrial Group (SHIG) for their involvement in the development and production of Iran’s ballistic missiles. The sanctioned entities include Shahid Karimi Industries, Shahid Rastegar Industries, Shahid Cheraghi Industries, Shahid Varamini Industries, Shahid Kalhor Industries, and Amir Al Mo’Menin Industries.
August 2017: The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (P.L. 115-44) is signed into law, directing the President to impose sanctions on any person who knowingly contributes to Iran’s ballistic missile program or other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) delivery system programs, and to submit a report to Congress every 180 days describing such contributions.
September 2017: Iran displays its Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile at a military parade. The commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force claims the missile is capable of carrying multiple warheads and has a range of 2,000 km. The Khorramshahr is based on North Korea’s BM-25 Musudan.