Iran Claims New Missiles Are Highly Accurate

Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces recently boasted that the latest Iran missile technology is highly accurate, in addition to its already known distance capabilities that put Israel in range.

Michael Rubin, of the American Enterprise Institute, highlighted this finding in a brief post adapted from the latest issue of a Foreign Military Studies Office publication called the Operational Environment Watch.

Iran tested 10 ballistic missiles in early February. In a March 18 article by an Iranian new organization, General Mohammed Bagheri was quoted as claiming that “Iran is one of the few countries to have missiles with a 10 meter margin of error.”

Could there be any trust to this claim? Rubin writes

The Iranian claims about increasing accuracy may not simply be hyperbole: In March 2016, Iran test-fired two different types of Qadr ballistic missiles from the Alborz Mountains near the Caspian which, according to the Iranian Defense Ministry, successfully struck targets on Iran’s Makran Coast, on the Indian Ocean.

The Iranian missile program had been based on SCUD missiles that were “notoriously inaccurate.” This technology, if real, represents quite a leap forward.

Iran claims the test was not in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which states that it cannot “undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons….” Leaders, naturally, deny they are designing missiles to carry nuclear weapons.

Even if that is true — and Iran has never given reason to trust them on that point — the centrifuges continue to exist spinning material other than uranium. Upon expiration of the nuclear deal, which lasts only ten years, and with long-range, accurate ballistic missile technology, Iran would very quickly achieve frightening destructive capabilities.

What are the implications in the meantime? Rubin continues, writing that

improving Iranian missile accuracy may spur a further arms and missile race among Arab Gulf countries. While Israel might be concerned with such developments as well, Israeli anti-missile defenses can likely counter such threats regardless of their warhead’s accuracy. Regardless, growing Iranian missile accuracy reflects on the growing technical competence of Iran’s indigenous military industries and might also suggest that Western attempts to embargo high-technology and dual use goods may be falling short.

No kidding.