The Iranian military has “boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing”
ballistic missile systems with “accuracy improvements and new sub-munition
payloads,” according to a Pentagon report.
Portions of the document were
declassified on Wednesday after having been presented to Congress last
The Pentagon report, obtained by Bloomberg, notes that Iran’s
short-range ballistic missiles are evolving toward an operational ability to
target sea vessels.
The report, dated June 29, 2012, is signed by US
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and says new Iranian abilities “extend the
destructive power over a wider area than a solid warhead,” according to
Iran’s military improvements are occurring in parallel with
regular ballistic-missile training that “continues throughout the country” and
the addition of “new ships and submarines,” the report concluded.
report repeats the longstanding US assessment that Iran with “sufficient foreign
assistance may be technically capable of flight-testing” an intercontinental
ballistic missile by 2015.
In February 2012, Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz said in a CNBC television interview that Israel estimates Iranian
missiles will soon be capable of reaching the United States.
investing billions of dollars, Steinitz said, to develop inter-continental
“We estimate that in two to three years they will
have the first inter-continental ballistic missiles that can reach the east
coast of America,” he said at the time.
Iran also continues to develop
ballistic missiles which can reach regional adversaries, Israel and Eastern
Europe, including an extended-range variant of the Shahab-3 and a
2,000-km.-medium-range ballistic missile, said the Pentagon report.
document also disclosed that Iran is improving the “survivability” of its
missile arsenal, implying that Tehran has strengthened its missile counter-
measures against potential attacks.
The report also analyzes Iran’s
potential ability to threaten Gulf shipping with missiles that can identify and
maneuver toward ships during flight.
“This technology also may be capable
of striking landbased targets,” the Pentagon said.