Iran is continuing to improve the accuracy and destructive power of its long-and-short-range ballistic missile force, according to a Pentagon report that was submitted to the US Congress and obtained by Bloomberg News.
The 29 June report, which was signed by Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, states that Tehran “has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads” that extend the destructive power over a broader area than a solid warhead.
The report further claimed that Iran also continues to develop its ballistic missiles with the ability to reach hostile Gulf countries, Israel and Eastern Europe, with an extended-range Shahab-3 and a 2,000 kilometres (1,240 mile) medium-range ballistic missile.
According to Bloomberg, the report found that the improvements are in tandem with routine ballistic-missile training that “continues throughout the country” and the addition of “new ships and submarines.”
The Bloomberg report also addressed the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme and the assistance it offers to Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iraqi Shiite groups. It repeated the US assessment that Iran with “sufficient foreign assistance may be technically capable of flight-testing” an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015. The Pentagon report predicted that Iran “would present a formidable force while defending Iranian territory. The report stated “with high confidence” that over the past 30 years Iran had “methodically cultivated a network of sponsored terrorist surrogates capable of targeting US and Israeli interests … we suspect this activity continues,” it said.