Iranian Regime Responds to U.S. Sanctions by ‘Boosting Its Missile Program’

Iran has responded to U.S. sanctions by increasing the funding of its missile program, Vladimir Sazhin, an expert on Mideast affairs told Sputnik.

Tehran has made considerable progress in the missile production by creating over 20 types of rockets, Vladimir Sazhin, expert on Middle Eastern affairs at the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik, adding that the US efforts to bring Iran’s rocket program to a halt through tough sanctions have proven futile.

Over the recent years, Iran has purchased, modernized and designed numerous series and various modifications of short-range missiles including tactical and operational tactical missiles,” Sazhin told Sputnik Iran. “However, the emphasis was placed on the creation of ballistic missiles capable of striking targets at great distances.”

The expert emphasizes that Tehran’s missile program has been rapidly developing for more than three decades. He also notes that Tehran also planned to develop the Shahab ballistic missiles, which would be capable of traveling up to 5,000-6,000 km. However, according to Sazhin, Iran’s capabilities of further developing the Shahab missile platform have been largely exhausted to date.

Nevertheless, Iran may use its expendable launch systems, such as Safir-2, capable of carrying a payload of up to 100 kg into space, for military tasks, the expert assumed. Simultaneously, Iranian specialists were developing solid-fuelled missiles.

“There is an evident tendency for the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to switch from the production of liquid-fuelled rockets to solid-fuelled types,” Sazhin underscores, clarifying that this transition is significantly increasing Iran’s combat readiness.

The expert pointed out that Iran’s missiles are “mobile and perfectly adapted” to operate in various conditions; they are carefully disguised and protected by the country’s air defense system.

Iran has recently tested long-range ballistic rockets which is a continued effort to pursue nuclear programs, something the U.S. and other world powers strongly oppose. With doing so Iran severely breaches the JCPOA signed with the U.S. and other countries, and U.S. might impose greater sanctions on the regime if it continues violating the accord.