Accession Number:



Iran's Ballistic Missile and Space Launch Programs

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Congressional Research Service WASHINGTON DC United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



On January 7, 2020, Iran launched 16 short-range ballistic missiles that were fired from three different locations inside the country and hit various targets on two Iraqi military installations housing U.S. troopsAl Asad Air Base and an air base near Erbil in Northern Iraq. Experts argue that the attack served as both Iranian retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranians top military commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani, as well as a warning to the United States against further military action against Iran. No U.S. or allied casualties were reported. Iran has been acquiring, developing, and testing its ballistic missile capabilities for decades and continues to invest in developing ballistic missiles and in building an extensive network of related facilities. The recent attack may have demonstrated advances in the accuracy of Irans missiles. Short- and medium-range ballistic missile tests indicate that Iran is focused on increasing the accuracy of its missiles. Once forecasted to acquire an intercontinental-range ballistic missile by 2020, Iran has not yet demonstrated this capacity. Furthermore, Irans space launch program continues to experience significant delays, and may be slowing.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Guided Missiles

Distribution Statement: