Tehran claimed last Friday’s launch of a Shahab-3 missile was “entirely defensive”, but the power of the ballistic projectiles sent the US and Britain into panic mode. It also highlighted Iran’s military capability – whether it be from nuclear missiles possibly being developed or ballistic missiles – in the face of heightened global tensions.
According to data from the Nuclear Threat Initiative analysed by Express.co.uk, Iran currently has six primary missile plants which are currently operational.
Two are in the South – one is in Sirjan, and the other is in Shiraz, just a couple of hundred kilometres from the Persian Gulf coast.
A major production plant lies in Isfahan, where aircraft are also produced, while research takes place in Hamadan in north-western Iran – close to the Iraqi border.
However, the main concerns for the Western world lie in Tehran itself.
The capital city is sandwiched by two missile production centres.
It also hosts six other industrial production facilities, as well as three training centres for aerospace and defence.
The Shahab-3 missile – which appears to be Tehran’s projectile of choice – has a range of 2000km.
This means it can hit targets as far as Romania and Israel – and Iranian officials have confirmed that the range can be easily extended.
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The deadly precision of the Shahab-3 missile is also a huge factor for nations within range, though Israeli officials have asserted that their missile defence system could easily intercept one.
In 2017, Express.co.uk revealed that Iran was reportedly running four secret nuclear development sites.
Pazhouheshkadeh, Nouri Industrial Site, Hafte Tir and Sanjarian were all identified as being heavily involved in the military nuclear weapons project.
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Alongside its ballistic missile capability, Western officials have expressed great concern over Tehran’s military capability.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month: “Nations should restore the longstanding standard of no enrichment for Iran’s nuclear program.
“Iran’s regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the world.”
Tensions between Iran and the Western world grew initially when Trump pulled out of the landmark nuclear deal agreed in 2015.
The agreement had limited Iran’s stockpiling and enrichment of uranium in an attempt to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon.
In return, it gave Iran some sanctions relief – which was crucial to the country’s economy.
However, Trump’s decision last year pushed Tehran into pulling out of their commitments to the deal.
They announced their decision to exceed the uranium enrichment level earlier this month, putting Iranian scientists on a path to developing the weapons – should they want to.
Tensions grew in the region as a whole when several vessels were downed in the Strait of Hormuz off the Iranian coast, with the US placing the blame on Tehran.
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