One might be forgiven for missing a statement this January by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC-AF) commander Amir-Ali Hajizadeh heralding the successful test of a solid-propellant motor for a carrier rocket. After all, amid renewed attacks by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria against U.S. positions, missile attacks by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen against an American base in the United Arab Emirates, and marathon nuclear diplomacy in Vienna, technical news related to a new rocket motor might sound, at best, tangential to the current slate of security challenges related to the Islamic Republic.
Such a view would be misguided, however. Iran’s steady advancement in the field of solid-propellant now includes solid-propellant motors for space/satellite-launch vehicles (SLVs), accentuating the overall threat posed by the Islamic Republic. They are also an important indicator of Tehran’s evolving missile prowess and continuing interest in developing longer-range strike capabilities.
Read the rest of the article in the National Interest.