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Isfahan Missile Complex

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The Isfahan Missile Complex is Iran’s largest missile assembly and production site. 1 Built with North Korean and Chinese assistance in the late 1980s, the facility manufactures solid and liquid propellants, missile components, and assembles Shahab and Chinese HY-2 Silkworm and M-Class missiles. 2

A 2001 report alluded to two research and development facilities near Isfahan and Tehran where scientists were working with Russian SS-4 missile technology, which Iran has used to develop the Shahab-4 system. 3 While Tehran asserts the Shahab-4 is exclusively designed to serve as a satellite-launch vehicle, many Western experts allege that Iran developed the technology to serve as a long-range weapons delivery capability. 4


  1. Anthony H. Cordesman and Adam C. Seitz, Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Birth of a Regional Arms Race (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2009), p. 151.
  2. Between 1990 and 1991, China reportedly assisted Iran in establishing production sites for HY-2 Silkworm and M-Class missiles. Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities: A Net Assessment, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2010, p. 49; Gordon Jacobs and Tim McCarthy, “China’s Missile Sales - Few Changes for the Future,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, December 1992, www.janes.com.
  3. “Iran Specifies New Weapons Mix,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, 26 March 2001, www.aviationweek.com.
  4. Philip Sherwell, “Russia Adds Range to Iran’s Latest Missiles,” The Telegraph, 10 November 2002, www.telegraph.co.uk.


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