Michael Elleman's Blog

Part I: Are Iran’s Missiles a Threat?

April 25, 2016
Michael Elleman Iran test-fired several ballistic missiles in March 2016 and one in October 2015. Why? What is Iran’s goal? Is there any significance to the timing?  Ballistic missiles have been a key pillar of Iran’s overall defense and deterrence strategy since its 1980-1988 war with Iraq. For…

Gulf I: Iran’s Power in the Air

March 11, 2013
Michael Elleman What are Iran’s missile assets?               Iran has the largest and most diverse inventory of long-range artillery rockets and ballistic missiles in the Middle East. It is estimated to have between 200 and 300 Scud-B and Scud–C missiles, which Iran has renamed the Shahab-…

Can Iran Replicate U.S. Drones?

April 27, 2012
Ted Wynne  Iran claims it is reproducing U.S. stealth technology less than five months after capturing an RQ-170 Sentinel drone, the most advanced unmanned surveillance aircraft.  On April 22, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iranian state television, “Our experts are fully dominant over sections and…

Mysterious Explosion at Iran Missile Base

December 18, 2011
Michael Elleman For the outside world, one of the biggest mysteries about Iran is what really happened on Nov. 12, when a massive explosion went off at a sprawling military base just 25 miles from Tehran. The truth could provide pivotal information about the status of Iran’s missile program—a key…

Iran's New Satellite Capability

June 17, 2011
Michael Elleman          As part of an ambitious plan to expand its space program, Iran claims to have launched its own satellite into orbit on June 15. It is the second satellite the Islamic republic has put into space.           The new 15.3kg satellite, dubbed the Rasad-1 (Observation-1),…

Could Iran deliver a bomb? Four basics about Iran’s ballistic missiles

January 21, 2011
Michael Elleman      International concern—and diplomacy—over Iran’s nuclear program have focused largely on Tehran's growing abilities to enrich uranium, a process essential for both peaceful nuclear energy and to make a bomb. But a second key issue is the Islamic Republic's ability to actually…