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26 August 2009

New Developments in Iran's Missile Capabilities

Up to now, North Korea has been the fountainhead of technology to Iran. In the 1990s and the early 2000s we saw the North Korean No-dong missile appearing in Iran, as well as the Shahab II and Shahab III, which in North Korea are called the Wassong V and Wassong VI. The Scud is a North Korean invention which was also exported to Iran. But looking at April's North Korean satellite launch attempt, they used a satellite launcher that looks nothing like what we see in Iran. It was completely different, much bigger and heavier, and with three stages.

This means that the connection between Iranian and North Korean technology is not that tight anymore, and the pupils are now the teachers. The Iranians have reached a level of proficiency which has disconnected them from North Korea and in some cases they are more advanced than the North Koreans. The Iranians are now going to deploy a missile which is nothing like what the North Koreans have, so a connection may now be the other way around. Start watching Iran not as a market for North Korean merchandise but as an exporter of Iranian missile technologies.

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