With cautious optimism from the side of the Western parties regarding the Iranian nuclear file, and the possibility of reaching a preliminary agreement on that issue. Signs of another problem appear on the horizon, which is the Iranian armament capacity and missile arsenal, which the US considers one of the red lines that Iran seeks to bypass it, especially with the presence of long-range missiles owned by the IRGC.
The return of talk about the Iranian missile arsenal, has raised by a German intelligence report revealing the efforts made by Tehran to obtain weapons of mass destruction. The report indicated that those attempts continued until the year 2020, amid expectations that they are still continuing secretly at present. Especially since the Iranian regime has tried, through some commercial links, to communicate with German companies working in the field of high technology.
“Although the Iranian missile arsenal has not proven to be of high efficiency during the past years, and some errors occurred in its launch operations, as happened in the accident of the Ukrainian plane or the fall of Iranian missiles in Iraq instead of Syria. However, Iran’s missile capability cannot be underestimated. Especially since the Iranian regime has made many developments in its armament and missile programs during the last two years,” Saad Eddin Taqi, a strategic researcher, says, commenting on the issue of missiles.
Taqi also points out that all the attacks launched by Irani, including those that targeted Ain al-Assad base in response to the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, were not serious attacks through which Iran’s missile capability could be assessed. Whereas, Iran currently possesses an arsenal of missiles that is considered one of the most diverse in the Middle East. Taqi also stressed that Iranian long-range missiles threaten the entire region, and that their threat may reach European lands.
It is noteworthy that Iran had previously entered into previous negotiations with North Korea with the aim of purchasing Korean liquid-fuel Scud-C missiles, which are longer and wider than Scud-B missiles, while expanding fuel tanks to carry larger quantities of them, as their range reaches 500 km when carrying an explosive device weighing 700 kg.
Here, Taqi explains that the missile, which covers a distance of 500 km, means that it is able to target points in the Middle East region very far from Iran, which pushes the United States to focus on that issue. This type of missile is a threat to all US military bases in the region. Taqi also considers this issue to be one of the most threatening to the region’s stability and security.
It is noteworthy that the administration of US President “Joe Biden” had stipulated at the beginning of this year that negotiations with Iran include three main lines: the nuclear file, the missile arsenal and Tehran’s policies in the region, which was rejected by the Iranian regime.
A warehouse that may explode..
With the increase in the level of Iranian armament, especially the missiles and arsenal of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Abdul Karim Al Hallaq, the military expert, describes Iran as having become a weapons depot that poses the greatest danger to the Middle East, even more than the threat of terrorist organizations. Al-Hallaq also pointed out that Iran’s missile capability also includes medium and short-range missiles, may reach 150 and 200 miles. Which Iran may have used in the attack that targeted Saudi Aramco facilities in the fall of 2019, and caused significant damage.
Al-Hallaq also notes the need to reach a solution to restrict Iran’s missile capabilities, as a fateful step not only for the Arab region, but even for the world. Especially in light of the Iranian policy of supporting militias and extremist movements and their threat to global trade.
“The survival of those missile capabilities of Iran may represent a threat to the interests of the international community, especially with what is being reported about the existence of contacts between the Iranian leadership and extremist organizations in Afghanistan which may benefit from that arsenal,” Al-Hallaq explains.
It is noteworthy that General Kenneth McKenzie, Commander-in-Chief of the US Central Command, had earlier warned of Iranian efforts to expand its influence in Afghanistan in an attempt to strike US interests there after the US military’s withdrawal from Afghan territory.
In addition, Al-Hallaq asserts that Iran’s access to advanced military technologies and types of unconventional weapons means that the world will face a new scenario that is similar and more dangerous to the Korean scenario. Whereas, the Korean regime does not adopt expansionist policies and ideologies as is the case for the Iranian regime, which is promoting the cause of waging a religious and ethnic war in the region. Al-Hallaq also indicated that Iran possesses a total of 55,000 surface-to-surface missiles.
The danger stage did not start..
Coinciding with all the warnings about Iran’s efforts to develop itself militarily, however, Mulla Hassan Agha, a researcher on Iranian affairs, believes that matters have not yet entered the stage of danger. The Iranian regime despite all that arsenal, is still unable to carry out aggressive operations with a significant impact, nor does it recognize operations with limited impact.
“The basic problem of the Iranian regime is not its military capacity, but rather its leaders’ awareness of the weakness of the home front and its inability to hold together in the event of facing any threat or external military action. This was evident over the past months through the presence of a number of Revolutionary Guards elements involved in actions targeting Iran, including the assassination of the nuclear scientist Fakhri Zadeh, and the recent attack on the Natanz nuclear complex. This makes Iran lose the ability to undertake a military adventure, even if it possesses military capabilities. The regime’s leaders also realize that the Iranian army will not be in better condition than the Iraqi army in 2003, in case military strikes are directed against Iran,” Agha says.
It is noteworthy that Alireza Zakani, head of the Parliamentary Research Center in Iran and a deputy in the Shura Council, had previously considered that Iran had become a paradise for spies associated with global intelligence. And this is in a comment from Zakani on the attack, which targeted the Natanz nuclear complex. Zakani opened fire on the Iranian security services, indicating that they were held responsible for the incident and the security breaches that took place, amid reports of an Israeli role in the attack.
On the other hand, Agha asserts that the US sanctions on Iran related to the missile arsenal have contributed to a large extent to stopping the missile development, especially in light of the difficult financial conditions of the Iranian regime. Agha also considered that those sanctions mean that the international community is wary of the need to confront the Iranian efforts, and it may reach the stage of harsh strikes at the sites for storing these weapons if necessary.