This month’s newsletter features an update to a timeline tracking milestones in Iran’s missile program as well as an update to the table detailing Iran’s centrifuge models and status. New entries to the missile timeline include the unveiling of a new solid-fueled ballistic missile as well as a March 2022 ballistic missile attack against a compound outside of Erbil, Iraq. The centrifuge table reflects data from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The newsletter also features profiles of entities involved in a drone-related procurement network, as well as news about Iran’s removal of monitoring equipment at key nuclear sites, the second sub-orbital test launch of the Zuljanah space launch vehicle, and the resumption of indirect talks in Qatar aimed at restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Documents from the Iran Watch library include official statements relating to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seizure of a Greek vessel in the Persian Gulf, the IAEA’s monitoring and verification reports, and recent U.S. sanctions announcements.
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Iran’s newest missile, the Kheibar Shekan. Source: Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.
Timeline | Iran Missile Milestones: 1985-2022
Since July 2021, Iran has conducted a military exercise involving coordinated ballistic missile and drone strikes against a single target, revealed a new solid rocket motor for space launch vehicles, unveiled a solid-fueled missile called the Kheibar Shekan, and launched a ballistic missile attack against what it claimed was a secret Israeli base near Erbil, Iraq.
Read the full timeline here.
Iran possesses thousands of gas centrifuges that it uses to enrich the uranium needed for nuclear fuel. This table sets out the capacity and primary materials of each of Iran’s currently-deployed centrifuge models. Using data from the latest IAEA reports, it also describes the quantity and types of centrifuges installed and/or enriching uranium at Iran’s declared enrichment sites at Fordow and Natanz. Since the last update in March, Iran has placed one additional IR-1 cascade in production mode in Natanz and has taken one cascade each of the IR-4 (in Natanz) and IR-6 (in Fordow) temporarily out of production mode, possibly to facilitate the ongoing installation of additional cascades.
See the table here.
ENTITIES OF CONCERN
From 2017 to 2018, an Iranian procurement network attempted to export sensitive counter-drone technology from the United States to Iran.
Indicted in the United States in 2018 for allegedly conspiring to export an industrial microwave system and counter-drone system from the United States to Iran via the United Arab Emirates; reportedly has worked with the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) on research projects; procurement agent for Rayan Roshd Afzar Company.
Rayan Roshd Afzar
Supplies Chinese-origin components to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and aerospace programs of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Wuhan IRCEN Technology Co., Ltd.
A China-based technology research and development company; has procured goods on behalf of Rayan Roshd Afzar Company.
IN THE NEWS
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and AEOI chief Mohammad Eslami speaking at a press conference in Tehran in September 2021. Source: Tasnim News.
Iran, U.S. Nuclear-Deal Talks End Without Progress | Wall Street Journal
June 29, 2022: A round of indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States in Doha, Qatar aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal ended on June 29 without any significant progress. The talks, which lasted two days and were mediated by EU official Enrique Mora, were the first since multilateral discussions in Vienna stalled in mid-March. There was no date set for the next round of negotiations.
Iran Launches Rocket into Space As Nuclear Talks to Resume | Associated Press
June 26, 2022: On June 26, Iran's state media announced that the country launched a solid-fueled Zuljanah space launch vehicle (SLV). Satellite imagery indicated that Iran had been preparing a launch at Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Semnan Province. The Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) said that the Zuljanah is capable of carrying a 220-kilogram satellite into low-earth orbit.
Iran Pulls U.N. Nuke Cameras in Possible “Fatal Blow” to Deal | Associated Press
June 10, 2022: On June 8, the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) censured Iran because the country has not offered a credible explanation for the presence of nuclear material at three sites that Iran had not declared to the IAEA. Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director-general of the IAEA, announced a day later that Iran had begun to remove 27 cameras that the IAEA uses to monitor nuclear sites, including the Arak heavy water reactor, the Natanz enrichment facility, and other locations in Isfahan and Tehran; Iran had already indicated on June 8 that it shut down two IAEA monitoring devices in Natanz. Grossi said that, after the anticipated removals, about 40 IAEA cameras would remain active in Iran. On June 9, the Agency also reported that Iran intended to add two more cascades of advanced IR-6 centrifuges at Natanz, following the in-progress installation of a previously planned IR-6 cascade there.
FROM THE LIBRARY
On May 27, the IRGC Navy detained two Greek-flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Earlier, an Iranian-flagged oil tanker had been stopped by Greek authorities in the Aegean Sea and had its cargo seized.
- Iran’s official news outlet claimed the Greek oil tankers had violated the country’s naval regulations - May 28
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the seizure and called for the immediate release of the vessels, their cargoes, and their crews - May 30
- The European Union expressed “strong concern” about the incident - May 29
- In its report on NPT safeguards compliance, the Agency found that “Iran has not provided explanations that are technically credible” related to nuclear material found at three undeclared sites - May 30
- In its verification and monitoring report, the IAEA estimated that Iran had stockpiled 43.1 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 60% purity - May 30
- U.S. officials indicated that the United States would seek a formal resolution rebuking Iran for its lack of cooperation with the IAEA - June 2
- The resolution was adopted with 30 of 35 member states voting in favor and only Russia and China voting against - June 8
The U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions on an IRGC Qods Force (IRGC-QF) oil smuggling network as well as a sanctions evasion network of Iranian petrochemical producers and their international brokers.
- According to the Treasury Department, the oil smuggling network is led by U.S.-designated IRGC-QF official Behnam Shahriyari and former IRGC-QF official Rostam Ghasemi and backed by the Russian government - May 25
- The other set of designations targets front companies in China and the United Arab Emirates that support Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. and Iran’s Petrochemical Commercial Company - June 16