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May 11, 2022
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The Pentagon generals did not take into account what missiles Moscow and Tehran have

In the photo: the launch of a missile by the Iskander operational-tactical missile systems (OTRK) during a special military operation in Ukraine.

In the photo: the launch of a missile by the Iskander operational-tactical missile systems (OTRK) during a special military operation in Ukraine. (Photo: Press Service of the RF Ministry of Defense/TASS)

The events in Ukraine are being watched all over the world. Including those countries that have been buying Russian weapons for a long time. And the special operation created a brilliant advertisement for the Russian defense industry. Russian weapons will certainly become even more in demand in countries that do not care about Western sanctions. For example, in Iran.

Russian missiles turned the course of the special operation

Since the beginning of the military special operation, Russia has fired almost 2,000 high-precision missiles across Ukraine. Such data are provided by the Institute of the Middle East, an American research center that studies military conflicts.

It would seem, where is Ukraine, and where is the Middle East. But if you look, the interest is quite understandable.

The intensity of the use of high-precision missiles in Ukraine is much higher than in all previous conflicts. For example, the Americans fired only 955 cruise missiles during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In addition to scale, the use of missiles in the Ukrainian special operation is also radically different from previous conflicts of the 21st century in terms of the combination of systems used.

Russia uses ballistic missiles (Iskander and Tochka-M), cruise missiles (Kalibr), hypersonic missiles (Kinzhal), and coastal defense systems that attack ground targets (Bastion and Bal). By comparison, the NATO forces that invaded Iraq in 2003 relied only on Tomahawk BGM-109 and AGM-86 CALCAM cruise missiles, writes the Middle East Institute.

“In fact, for the first time since World War II, tactical ballistic missiles played a pivotal role in combat. It is not difficult to imagine that the military around the world is closely following these events, ”the study of the American center says.

Precision missile strikes proved to be the most important means for Russia to neutralize the Ukrainian infrastructure. Especially in areas where aerial bombardment was risky. Precision Iskander strikes have caused significant damage and weakened Ukraine’s military capabilities, write military analysts from the Middle East Institute.

The Ukrainians could only counter this with mortar attacks and one helicopter raid. Mortars, unlike rockets, are not high-precision weapons, but indiscriminate ones. In addition, it has an extremely short range.

All this reinforces the opinions of those experts who advocate the earliest possible development of missiles. And this is, for example, Iran.

It was Iran among all the Middle Eastern countries that most actively used high-precision ballistic missiles.

In 2017, to destroy the command posts of the Islamic State* terrorist group in the eastern provinces of Syria.

In 2018, for strikes against strongholds of Kurdish separatist groups in northern Iraq.

In 2020 – to strike at the American Ain Assad airbase in Iraq.

In 2922, a goal was fired at a supposed Israeli intelligence center in the city of Erbil in Iraq.

Iran, under severe US sanctions since 1979, was once forced to choose between investing in the Air Force or its missile program, says the Middle East Institute. The construction of new bombers proved to be too heavy a burden for a country living under sanctions. And Iran has made a choice in favor of missiles. Also drones.

And already during the annual military parade this April, thousands of Iranian spectators could see with their own eyes what weapons systems are the future. Priority over fighters was given to drones, missiles and anti-aircraft missile systems.

The successes of Russian weapons during the special operation will clearly arouse great interest in new deliveries. Including in Iran, which has been a major buyer of weapons in Russia since the Soviet era. After all, the American sanctions imposed on Iran did not frighten her even then.

The Iranian army is armed with, say, Uragan multiple launch rocket systems, Metis anti-tank missile systems, Mi-17 helicopters and many other types of weapons.

Now both countries are brought together not only by a common past, but also by a common anti-Americanism. Moscow and Tehran are suffering from Western sanctions, they seek to get rid of dollar dependence. Arms deliveries (for which the Iranians will pay not in dollars, of course) are a real choice.

So far, Iran’s missile program is based on missiles supplied from North Korea and China. Tehran is independently developing the Shahab-6 ballistic missile with a range of over 10,000 km. Moreover, technology for this purpose was provided to Tehran by Russia for decades, because of which, back in the late nineties, the United States imposed sanctions against several Russian companies.

Russia allegedly helped Iran produce a warhead and a fuselage. And Iranian-built missiles now have the potential to reach major population centers in Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Because of their greater range, Iran will be able to launch these missiles from safer launch pads inland, making it more difficult for efforts to detect and destroy the missiles prior to launch. Although, presumably, the main value of these missiles is political. They serve as a symbolic substitute for unconventional weapons that Iran possesses but cannot boast of due to its arms control obligations.

For this reason, Iran will not be able to buy brand new Russian “Caliber” or “Daggers” either. However, it is quite possible to cooperate with the efforts of developers.


*The Islamic State Movement (ISIS) was recognized by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014 as a terrorist organization, its activities in Russia are prohibited.

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