Clandestine Missile Projects of the Iranian Regime

December 3, 2004

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile

Publication: 

National Council of Resistance of Iran

Below please find new information on the clandestine missile projects of the Iranian regime which has been obtained by the sources of the National Council of Resistance of Iran from inside Iran.

They include the Ghadr (Powerful) Missile Program, Shahab-4 Missile Program, Zelzal (Tremor Shock) Missile Program and Nuclear and chemical warhead programs.

1. These projects are handled by the Aerospace Industries Organization, which includes a large number of research centers, industrial complexes and factories. It is run by Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahid Dastjerdi and its duties include research, design, manufacture, support and the execution of these missile projects.

2. Top Secret Ghadr Missile Project

a. The Defense Ministry is pursuing a new top secret missile project in the Missile Industries -- a subunit of the Aerospace Industries Organization. It is called Ghadr 101. The improved version of it is called Ghadr 110. The above missiles are produced in Hemmat Missile Industries Complex.

b. Ghadr missile differs from Shahab 3 and Shahab 4 missiles. It has better maneuverability. This means that it could be prepared for launch in 30 minutes, whereas Shahab 3 missile would take several hours to launch.

c. Ghadr missile has a range of 2,500 to 3,000 km and is designed in such a way that the range could be increased.

d. The missile is completely manufactured in Iran and is not a copied version of Russian or Korean missiles. In designing and manufacturing Ghadr missiles, Shahab 3 was used and many changes were made to the missile. Ghadr missiles could be compared to the advanced Scud E missiles.

3. The industrial groups in Hemmat Complex involved in the research, testing and manufacturing the missile and its warhead have been given code numbers to maintain the secrecy of the project. All the communications among the above industrial groups are done by code numbers. Here are the code numbers allocated to the industrial groups:

Hemmat industrial groups code numbers:

Director Code No Works Industrial Group
Salehi 6000 Guidance and Control Shahid Varamini
Khavas 7500 Body Shahid Mowahed
Asadi, Ghamari, Dehnamaki 3000 Fuel Shahid Cheraghi
Farhani, Sanaei 4500 Engine Shahid Rastegar
Gholi Zadeh 2500 Warhead Shahid Karimi
  8500 Firing System Shahid Noori
Husseini (eng.) 1500 Launcher Shahid Kalhor

4. Location of Hemmat Industrial Complex

The complex is located in Azemayesh-Lashgark Junction, Tehran-No Road in the northeast of Tehran. There are other industrial complexes located to the east of the above road such as the Aerospace Industries and Mechanical Industries. But Hemmat Industrial Complex is situated in the far northern part of the industrial complexes adjacent to the southern side of Ghazal National Park. Please refer to the satellite image and the map.

The director of Hemmat Complex is Brig. Gen Danesh Ashtiani and the complex is responsible for producing the main parts of Shahab missiles.

5. Shahab-4 Missile

a. After several years of work on producing Shahab 4 missile, the Iranian regime ran its first tests on Shahab 4 missile in mid August 2004.

b. Contrary to the current two-stage missiles, Shahab 4 is a three-stage missile. In the first stage the missile's booster starts working with solid fuel but separates from the missile a few seconds after launching. The second stage consumes liquid fuel and finally the third rocket engine directs the missile towards the target.

c. The range of Shahab 4 depends on the weight of the warhead and it varies from 1,900 to 3,000 km. The relation between the weight of the warhead and the range of Shahab 4 missile is shown in the table below:

Missile Range/ km Weight of Warhead/ kg
2000 1000
2200 750
2475 500
2672 380
2896 290

The Missile Industries have improved the guidance and control systems of Shahab 4 missiles. The error of hitting the target in Shahab 3 missiles was 8 in 10,000 which was improved to 2 in 10,000 in Shahab 4. This means that Shahab 4's error in 2,500 km range is only 50 meters.

The most important change made by the Iranian regime in Shahab 4 was in the missile's guidance and targeting system.

According to the available information, Shahab 4 missile has not yet reached the stage of mass production.

6. The Improved Version of Zelzal 2 Missile

The IRGC Air Force tested a new improved version of Zelzal 2 SS missile in the region east of Salt Lake south of Tehran in late September. The improved version of Zelzal 2 is accurately guided to the target by the non directional beacon (NDB) frequency system1.

The Defense Ministry's Missile Industries has employed the above system and has fitted an NDB receiver in the new missile warhead. After launching and four seconds before hitting the target, the missile receives the signals transmitted by the NDB system already placed in the target area and accordingly corrects its direction to hit the target accurately.

Zelzal 2 missile has a range of 300 km and the main feature in it is the guiding system. It has an error of 70 m.

At the present time, Zelzal 2 project is going through its final stages and it is pursued by the IRGC Missiles Unit, the Defense Ministry, the Aerospace Organization and Isfahan Aircraft Industries. The manufacture and the preliminary tests of Zelzal 2 were carried out in the Missile Industries' new sites in Moorcheh Khort2 near Isfahan. After successful tests, the IRGC Missile Unit will be in charge of maintaining and launching Zelzal 2 missile.

The IRGC Air Force prepared a confidential report on the features of the new missile and sent it to the IRGC command. It read: "Zelzal 2 missile has been produced for deploying in other countries and in Iraq in particular." When we want to hit a building in Iraq, we simply have to send an agent with the transmitter unit (which is not bigger than a mobile telephone) near the building to put it in a trash bin, beside the wall or on the roof. After an hour, an improved version of Zelzal 2 missile is launched towards the building and by receiving the signals from the transmitter the missile would be guided towards the target.

7. Designing Nuclear Warhead

Making nuclear warheads is one of the most sensitive projects being executed by the Iranian regime and it is pursued in Shahid Karimi Industrial Group in Hemmat Complex. The code number for the group is 2500 and the people who do not know the code could not even get in touch with the group. The director of the group is RG Commander by the name of Gholi Zadeh and the activities of Shahid Karimi Industrial Group are under more severe counter-intelligence measures.

Chemical warheads are also made in the same location.

The Iranian regime has obtained advanced missile technology through the Aerospace Industries Organization and has made enormous efforts in this field. It also develops its capabilities through scientific committees, several research centers and the available industries.

8. Increasing the number of missile brigades from three to five under the Air Force of the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) and allocating surface to surface missiles to such units. The current IRGC missile units are called: 15th Ghaem Missiles Brigade, 5th Ra'ad Missile Brigade armed with Shahab 3 and Shahab 4 Missiles, 7th Al-Hadid Missile Brigade armed with Shahab 1 and Shahab 2 Missiles (that is Iran's designation for Scud B and Scud C missiles), 19th Zulfeqar Missile Brigade armed with Al-Naze'at and Zelzal Missiles and 23rd Towhid Missile Brigade.

9. Imam Ali Missile Site in Khorramabad

The site is situated 35 km away from Khorramabad on the road to Koohdasht. The base's location is in the south of Mount Seffid Kooh in a mountain pass called Heroor Pass. Imam Ali base belongs to Al-Hadid Brigade, a subordinate unit of the IRGC Missile Force. The missile launching sites are mobile and hidden in the heights. There are medium and long range missiles in the base and the sites are guided outside the silo for launching the missiles and then retreated. The base was one of the sites that launched Scud missiles on the PMOI bases in Iraq on Apr. 18, 2001. The base's buildings are built into the heights or under the ground. Imam Ali Base's air distance from Khorramabad is 20 km.

The base is highly protected by the IRGC and cannot be seen from outside. Sky Guard weapons and AA guided missiles are defending the base against any air attack. Two years ago, a Russian-made passenger plane carrying 120 people on board was shut down by the base's automatic AA weapons while flying over the base. The plane faced a bad weather condition on its course to Khorramabad and had to change its course where it flew over the base and was shut down. It was announced in the news that the plane had hit the mountain.

It is worthwhile mentioning that the personnel working in the base are completely replaced every 1.5 to 2 months and during this period no one is allowed to leave the base. The base's personnel are not local people and are moved to the base with cars having smoked glass windows.

In August 2003 the IRGC demanded a large amount of cement in last August for a secret project inside the base. The Governor's Office in Lorestan Province gave the priority to the IRGC and supplied it with the cement. During the following months, the IRGC completed the project and in November 2003, 25 missiles were moved to the base.

Let me end by saying that the Iranian regime's efforts to obtain long-range missiles and its attempts to acquire nuclear weapons are two wings of a single strategy.

Militarily speaking, by obtaining long range and medium range missiles, the clerics are trying to put many regions of the world, including all of Europe within their range. With Ghadr missile, Berlin would fall within the range of this missile.

Secondly, they are bent on acquiring long-range and medium-range missiles that could carry nuclear and chemical warheads. Politically speaking, this would be the end game. Had Hitler succeeded in obtaining a nuclear bomb in the final year of the Second World War, he could have changed everything.

Increasingly isolated at home and under pressure internationally, the mullahs are working to acquire a nuclear arsenal and long-range missiles to expand their rule beyond Iran's borders and prevent the overthrow of the clerical state.

The EU troika that signed the shameful deal with Tehran earlier this week, has in effect paved the way for the success of that strategy.

The practical and correct approach to this threat is a two-pronged approach:

- Adopting a tough approach against Tehran by referring its WMD program to the United Nations Security Council.

- Recognizing the right of the Iranian people to resist against this oppressive regime, which includes removing the people's Mojahedin Organization of Iran from the list of terrorist organizations. Accusing this group of terrorism impedes efforts to bring about a regime change in Iran, which the overwhelming majority of Iranians demand.

From GlobalSecurity.org