The genesis of Iran’s space program

Article Highlights

  • #Iran has acquired a robust missile program and Iranian technicians have reverse engineered missiles and radar systems

    Tweet This

  • #Iran may be able to harvest technology and intelligence from the #US drone downed over #Iran in December 2011.

    Tweet This

  • #Iranian officials will shield a ballistic missile program in their desire to achieve #space-based technologies

    Tweet This

Editor's Note: FMSO’s Operational Environment Watch provides translated selections and analysis from a diverse range of foreign articles and other media that analysts and expert contributors believe will give military and security experts an added dimension to their critical thinking about the Operational Environment.

Source: “Bimariha-ye Sa‘ab al-‘Alaj’ Peyamad-i Istiqrar Sepir Mushaki bar Neselha-ye
ayandeh Turkiye
” (“Chronic Diseases [and] the Impact of the Missile Shield on Future
Generations of Turkey,” Fars News Agency. 27 April 2012. 

Michael Rubin:On April 27, Fars News Agency—an Iranian news service close to the Supreme Leader and security services—published a lengthy interview with Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Command, excerpts of which are translated below. Western press reports initially focused upon the title of the interview, which highlighted Hajizadeh’s accusations that the new U.S. radar facility in Turkey would sicken children. While such accusations are sure to be picked up by the opposition in Turkey and Europe and will become a standard part of Iran’s information operations campaign, Hajizadeh’s reflections regarding Iran’s missile program and domestic defense industry are more important.

Underlying Hajizadeh’s remarks are both Iranian defiance and overconfidence. Hajizadeh is fatalistic and embraces a view widespread among veterans of the Iran-Iraq War in both the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and among Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hardline faction, which sees strength rising from adversity. Suggestions that Iran can cripple U.S. aircraft carriers imply that Iranian understandings of American redlines imposed by Operation Praying Mantis in 1988 have almost completely evaporated.

Hajizadeh’s confidence also reflects Iran’s growing indigenous arms industry. Whether Iran received assistance from North Korea, Russia, or other powers in the past, the fact remains that Iran has acquired a robust missile program and that Iranian technicians have reverse engineered missiles and radar systems, and, if believed, may also be able to harvest technology and intelligence from the U.S. drone downed over Iran in December 2011.

While some Western officials remain optimistic about the prospect for a breakthrough in nuclear talks, Hajizadeh’s defiance suggests any progress will be fleeting and that a powerful constituency exists inside Iran which believes that they can weather any sanctions Western countries throw at the Islamic Republic.

Hajizadeh’s interview also presages the next negotiations hurdle the West will face with regard to Iran’s military ambitions. Just as Iranian diplomats have justified nuclear enrichment in their desire to enrich uranium and produce isotopes for medical purposes, Iranian officials will increasingly shield a ballistic missile program in their desire to achieve space-based technologies, and will respond with righteous indignation should American officials question the motivations underlying Iran’s space drive.

Michael Rubin is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Michael
Rubin


  • Michael Rubin is a former Pentagon official whose major research areas are the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and diplomacy. Rubin instructs senior military officers deploying to the Middle East and Afghanistan on regional politics, and teaches classes regarding Iran, terrorism, and Arab politics on board deploying U.S. aircraft carriers. Rubin has lived in post-revolution Iran, Yemen, both pre- and post-war Iraq, and spent time with the Taliban before 9/11. His newest book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engagement examines a half century of U.S. diplomacy with rogue regimes and terrorist groups.


    Follow Michael Rubin on Twitter.


  • Phone: 202-862-5851
    Email: mrubin@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Ahmad Majidyar
    Phone: 202-862-5845
    Email: ahmad.majidyar@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image The Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.