A brief history of Iran missile technology

A brief history of Iran missile technology developments from 1960-1984

www.nti.org/e_research/profiles/Iran/Missile/1788.html

Missile Chronology

1960s-1984

This annotated chronology is based on the data sources that follow each entry. Public sources often provide conflicting information on classified military programs. In some cases we are unable to resolve these discrepancies, in others we have deliberately refrained from doing so to highlight the potential influence of false or misleading information as it appeared over time. In many cases, we are unable to independently verify claims. Hence in reviewing this chronology, readers should take into account the credibility of the sources employed here.
Inclusion in this chronology does not necessarily indicate that a particular development is of direct or indirect proliferation significance. Some entries provide international or domestic context for technological development and national policymaking. Moreover, some entries may refer to developments with positive consequences for nonproliferation.

February 1960
The United States decides it will sell Iran Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
?"Military Basis for a Proposed Reply to the Shah of Iran concerning His Request for Additional Military Assistance," Top Secret Position Paper, 20 February 1960, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com>;.

12 April 1962
The Shah of Iran asks U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara why Iran does not have operational Sidewinder missiles for its F-86 fighter planes. McNamara says that the Iranian Air Force needs to increase its ability to maintain its military hardware. The Shah also tells McNamara that Iran needs surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to defend its airfields. McNamara says that early warning systems and fighter planes are a better solution.
?William Bundy, "United States-Iran Relations," Secret Memorandum of Conversation, 12 April 1962, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

Late 1960s
The Shah of Iran opens the Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) missile repair facility in Shiraz to the Pakistanis.
?Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 54.

1971
The Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) contracts the Texas-based Emerson Energy Systems to repair TOW and FGM-77A dragon systems for Pakistan and Yemen.
?Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 57.

1971
The United States approves the sale to Iran of 37 Improved Hawk surface-to-air missile (SAM) battalions, which includes a total of 1811 Hawk missiles. The total cost is $687 million. [Note: Final delivery of this deal is in July 1979.]
?Foreign Military Sales Commitments to Iran, Confidential Memorandum from the U.S. Department of Defense, 3 March 1977, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

1972
The United States approves the sale of 274 Phoenix missiles to Iran for $150 million. [Note: Final delivery of this deal is in May 1979.]
?Foreign Military Sales Commitments to Iran, Confidential Memorandum from the U.S. Department of Defense, 3 March 1977, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

May 1972
President Richard Nixon agrees to allow the Shah of Iran to purchase virtually any type of conventional weaponry in the U.S. arsenal, including advanced F-14, AWACS aircraft, and Phoenix and Maverick missiles.
?Mark J. Gasiorowski, US Foreign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 113-114.

16 November 1972
As part of Operation Enhance Plus, the United States agrees to sell Iran air-to-surface missiles. The United States will also allow Iran to own fighter planes that they had previously leased.
?Thomas R. Pickering, "[Operation] Enhance Plus," Top Secret Cable, 16 November 1972, in Digital National Security Archive <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

1972-1977
Between 1972 and 1977, there is a 600% increase in U.S. military sales to Iran.
?Mark J. Gasiorowski, US Foreign Policy and the Shah: Building a Client State in Iran (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), pp. 113-114.

1974
United States sells 78 F-14 fighter planes and its 200 Phoenix air-to-air missiles to Iran.
?Associated Press, 29 March 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com>;.

1974
The United States authorizes a plan to discuss co-production of the Maverick air-to-ground missile and the TOW anti-tank missile with Iran.
?ALfred L. Atherton, Jr., "Strategy for Your Visit to Iran," Confidential Briefing Memorandum to Henry Kissinger, 20 October 1974, in Digital National Security Archive <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;; "U.S.-Iran Joint Commission Meeting", Confidential Briefing Notes to Henry Kissinger, 2 November 1974, in Digital National Security Archive <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

3 October 1974
The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is growing concerned about Iran's ambitious weapons procurement goals. An internal DOD memorandum states, "There are sufficient negative indicators in relation to the Shah's prospects to prompt the USG (United States Government) toward a somewhat more cautious and guarded relationship with the Shah."
?"Military/Security Issues: B. The U.S.-Iranian Military Relationship, 1941-1979," Secret Report of the U.S. Department of State, 29 January 1980, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

1975
A maintenance contract of the AGM 65A Maverick and BGM-71 A TOW systems is signed and placed under the supervision of the Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) missile division. According to the contract, IEI can produce subcomponents and assemble 2000 TOWs and Maverick missiles.
?Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 57.

1975
Project "Flower" Tzur, a joint collaboration between Iran and Israel, aims to develop a "state-of-the-art sea-to-sea missile, an advanced version of the U.S. Harpoon missile, with a range of 200 kilometers."
?Ronen Bergman, "5 billion Reasons to Talk to Iran," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), 19 March 1999; in "Israel's Outstanding Debt to Iran Viewed," FBIS Document FTS19990319001273, 19 March 1999.

22 January 1975
The United States has delivered 3400 TOW missiles to Iran since 1973. A total of 4760 TOWs and 250 launchers will be supplied. Between 1974 and 1975, 2500 Maverick air-to-surface missiles are scheduled for delivery to Iran. The U.S. also plans delivery of 32 Hawk surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries to Iran between 1974 and 1978. [Note: According to the Federation of American Scientists, there are 48 missiles per Hawk battery.]
?"The Growing U.S. Involvement in Iran," Secret Report by the United States Department of Defense, 22 January 1975, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

May 1975
Negotiations between Iran and Hughes Missile Systems on co-production of the TOW and Maverick missiles are stalled over disagreements in the pricing structure. Hughes has set the royalty and initial investment costs for Iran at $20 million for the TOW and $25 million for the Maverick.
?Sidney Sober, "Your Meeting with the Shah at Blair House," Confidential Briefing Memorandum to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 9 May 1975, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

9 May 1975
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is advised to discourage Iran from pursuing the Lance surface-to-surface missile. According to a briefing note for Kissinger, "DOD [Department of Defense] does not consider the Lance a cost-effective weapon when used with a conventional warhead. Congressional critics of our arms sales to Iran would tend to link Iran's purchase of the Lance with its nuclear development plans." Iran had previously indicated that it may want six Lance battalions, partly in response to the possibility of Iraq obtaining Scud missiles.
?Sidney Sober, "Your Meeting with the Shah at Blair House," Confidential Briefing Memorandum to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 9 May 1975, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

December 1975
The Imperial Iranian Army has made a $352.8 million order for an upgraded tracked version of the Rapier missile launcher system. The British Aircraft Corporation Guided Weapons Division makes the Rapier and the upgraded version consists of eight missiles. The Imperial Iranian Army has also ordered the American-made M-548 tracked-cargo carrier made by the FMC Corporation in California. The tracked-vehicle Rapier is different from the all-weather Blindfire launcher, which Iran already has. The M-548 vehicles are part of the M-113 family, designed to carry Lance missiles. The system has been tested in a variety of weather conditions in Iran on a modified FMC vehicle. Iran is discussing with the British Ministry of Defense and the British Aircraft Corporation about producing the Rapier missile in Iran.
?"Iran Orders Tracked Version of Rapier," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 8 December 1975, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1976
Missile arsenals of the Imperial Iranian Ground Forces, Navy and Air Force:

Category and Item Orders as of March 1976 Deliveries
Ground Forces 358
? M 113AI 390 140
? M 109 (155mm-Sp) 8
? M 107 (175mm-SP) 37
? M 110 15,000+
? TOW 10,000+
? Dragon 12
Navy
? Harpoon
? Missile Patrol boats Le Combatant
Air Force
? Phoenix 400+ 0
? Maverick 2,500 2,500
? SAM Hawk Batteries 37 16
? Missiles 1,800+ 650+

?Senate Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee's on foreign military Assistance, Aerospace Daily, 4 August 1976, p. 188.

1976
Iran cuts back an order of six of the Spruance class destroyer missile-carrying ships from the U.S. Navy when the cost rose from $116 million in 1972 to $333 million.
?"Iranian Arms Cuts Spur Buyer Search," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 February 1979, p. 19, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

November 1976
The British Aircraft Corporation agrees to accept Iranian crude oil in payment for a $640 million deal to supply the Imperial Iranian Army with the tracked Rapier short-range anti-aircraft missile system. Furthermore, The British Aircraft Corporation and Iranian Electronics Industries agree to create a new company under the name of Irano-British Dynamics to manufacture the Rapier missile in Iran. This new company will develop and assemble 2,500 Rapier half-tracked, low-level anti-aircraft missiles. The project is expected to produce 75 missiles per month at the site of Parchin. Under the agreement, Iran will be allowed to sell the missiles to third countries.
?"Oil for Arms," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 29 November 1976, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;; Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 57.

31 January 1977
Iran may try to insulate its defense development projects from the ups and downs of the oil market by using oil as payment. Germany's Krupp will take oil as a payment for $135 million worth of copper refining and smelting equipment. British Aircraft Corporation will receive between 15,000 and 20,000 bbl. per day of oil for five years in return for $700 million worth of Rapier missiles.
?"Iran Rebuilds Its Confidence," Business Week, 31 January 1977, p. 54, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

18 July 1977
Israeli Defense Minister General Ezer Weizmann and Iranian Vice Minister of War General Hasan Toufanian discuss the co-production of Israel's Jericho-2 missile, code named Project Flower. [Note: See 1975 entry.] Weizmann says that he has "doubts about this missile" and the project may be re-evaluated. Toufanian says "the most important feature of the missiles is... target acquisition, target identification." He also says that Iran is using the Harpoon missile on its ships and planes, but there have been "technical difficulties" with the Harpoon. Weizmann suggests that the range of the missiles to be co-produced with Iran could be shortened to 150 kilometers. He tells Toufanian that Iran "must have a ground to ground missile." Both sides agree to further discuss the issue. Toufanian also meets with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, who says that the United States may object to Project Flower as the Jericho missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. Dayan suggests that temporarily halting the project will allow time for a "thorough reassessment."
?"Minutes from Meeting Held in Tel Aviv between H. E. General M. Dayan, Foreign Minister of Israel, and H.E. General H. Toufanian, Vice Minister of War, Imperial Government of Iran," Top Secret Minutes from Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 July 1977, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

18 July 1977
The Iranian Deputy Defense Minister General Hasan Tufanian, a former commander of the Iranian air force and responsible for military procurement in Iran's defense establishment, holds a meeting to discuss the joint Israel-Iran missile project, code-named "Tzur." Project "Tzur" will increase the range for surface-to-surface Jericho missiles. Iran will provide the funding and the test ranges and Israel the know-how. Iran will later purchase ready-made missiles from Israel. Israelis present at the meeting are Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, defense officials, and Uri Lubrani. Weizman has invited Tufanian to view a launch of the Jericho-2 missile. After the meeting, the deal is signed and Iran provides large advances of capital to proceed with the project. Large numbers of Israeli experts will go to Iran to begin preparations for the project. [Note: This report contradicts the transcribed notes from the meeting referred to in the previous entry.]
?Ronen Bergman, "5 billion Reasons to Talk to Iran," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), 19 March 1999; in "Israel's Outstanding Debt to Iran Viewed," FBIS Document FTS19990319001273, 19 March 1999.

5 September 1977
After the latest incident of Iranian F-14 fighters detecting incursions in Iranian air space by Soviet Mig-25B reconnaissance aircraft, the Shah orders his aircrews to conduct live firing-tests of the F-14's Hughes Phoenix missile system. These represent the first of such tests in Iran. During these tests, weapon systems operators fire the Phoenix missiles at Beech Aircraft BQM-34E target drones. The first test is initiated when the F-14's radar acquires the drone target at a distance of 101 nautical miles. The BQM-34E flies at an altitude of 50,000 feet at Mach 1.6. The F-14 is at a 40,000-foot altitude at Mach 0.8 when it launches its Phoenix missile at the target at a distance of 35 nautical miles. The Phoenix warhead destroys the target. In the second, more difficult test, the F-14 flight crew engages the BQM-34E while the F-14 is at 25,000 feet traveling at Mach 0.8. The target flies at 500ft. at a distance of 25 nautical miles. Again the Phoenix missile hits the drone.
?"MiG-25s Detected by Iran," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 5 September 1977, p. 14, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1978
Iran expects to receive a shipment of AGM-84 Harpoon radar-guided anti-ship missiles (ASMs) from the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.
?"Harpoon Warranty Proposed to Navy," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 27 March 1978, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1978
The project initiated between Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) is cancelled. It was meant to develop and assemble 2,500 Rapier half-tracked, low-level anti-aircraft missiles and expected to produce 75 missiles per month at the site of Parchin.
?Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), p. 57.

1978
Iran makes its first payment to Israel in the form of $280 million worth of oil for the joint "Project Flower" missile program. The aim of the program is to make a longer-range missile of 150-200km and to make a missile that is a "more heavily armed version of the Israeli Gabriel anti-ship missile." As part of the project, the Iranians start building a missile assembly site close to Sirjan, in south central Iran, and a missile test range close to Rafsanjan.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: the New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 48.

29 March 1978
Iran formally notifies the United States that it wants to purchase weapons for 12 new frigates. The weapons package includes MK 13 Guided Missile Launching Systems and Harpoon Canister Launching System. The frigates are to complement four Spruance Class missile ships Iran recently purchased. The frigates and the missile ships will be built in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Netherlands.
?D. M. Altwegg, "Armament Suite for Iranian Frigates to Be Built in the Netherlands and Federal Republic of Germany," Letter from the U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, 27 July 1978; Erich F. von Marbod, "Notification to Congress of Impeding Navy Arms Sales to Iran," Letter from the U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, 27 July 1978, both in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

July 1978
All the Israeli engineers and those involved with the defense cooperation with Iran have been flown back to Israel when it became clear that the Iranian regime is about to collapse. All the blueprints and diagrams of the weapons systems involved were returned to Israel via a well-protected diplomatic courier.
?Ronen Bergman, "5 billion Reasons to Talk to Iran," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), 19 March 1999; in "Israel's Outstanding Debt to Iran Viewed," FBIS Document FTS19990319001273, 19 March 1999.

27 July 1978
The United States Defense Security Assistance Agency informs the Senate that the State Department may agree to allow the sale of advanced weapons for Iranian frigates. The weapons include MK 13 Guided Missile Launching Systems and Harpoon Canister Launching Systems. [Note: See 29 March 1978.]
?Erich F. von Marbod, "Notification to Congress of Impeding Navy Arms Sales to Iran," Letter from the U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, 27 July 1978, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

August 1978
The U.S. State Department agrees to sell Iran 1,000 naval AGM-45 Shrike radar homing missiles, and Iran accepts the deal. The State Department, however, turns down Iran's request to buy 31 McDonnell Douglas F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft, but offers Iran 31 F-4Es instead.
?"Iranian Bid Denied," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 21 August 1978, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

September 1978
A team of key U.S. Defense, State Department and National Security Council officials is scheduled to visit Iran to establish delivery priority for $10 billion worth of arms the Shah wants to order. The Shah also wants to buy technical information enabling Iran to build its own airborne missiles.
?"Iranian Priorities," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 14 August 1978, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

December 1978
Unrest in Iran leads to the cancellation of plans to build the Rapier anti-aircraft missile there. The Iranian military will purchase the missile directly from the British Aircraft Corporation. Irano-British Dynamics, the joint company formed between the two countries to manufacture the missile, will be involved primarily in marketing the missile. Iran will not receive advanced technology as planned under the original manufacturing agreement. [Note: See entries under December 1975, November 1976, and 1978 for more information on this agreement.]
?"Iran Rapier," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 18 December 1978, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

11 December 1978
Russian MiG-25 fighters cross into Iranian airspace. The worried Iranian military command asks the Shah for permission to take action against the MiGs, but the Shah refuses. The Shah doesn't want to risk the consequences of arming the vast fleet of fighters and the network of missiles that are deployed (largely by the United States) in Iran. The Pentagon has devised emergency plans to keep U.S. military hardware from falling into unfriendly hands in the event of a leftist take-over of Iran. The Iranians own 80 F-14 Tomcat jet fighters with Phoenix missiles that can target on six enemy planes simultaneously, and arrangements have been made to fly the Tomcats out of the country if the Shah's government falls.
?Bill Roeder, "A Soviet Ploy...And A U.S. Game Plan In Iran," Newsweek, 1 January 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

Before 1979
Under the Shah, Iran's arsenal includes the following missiles: Hughes Aircraft BGM-71 A, TOW, AGM-65a Maverick, AIM-54A Phoenix, Rapier, MIM-23B Hawk, AIM-7F Sparrow, AIM-9 G/H Sidewinder. Iran also reverse-engineers the Soviet RPG-7, BM 21, and SAM-7 missiles. Iran at least once requests American participation in the development of an American designed missile; the Americans refuse.
?Ann Tibbitts Schulz, Buying Security: Iran Under the Monarchy (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1989), pp. 57-58.

February 1979
Several members of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee express concerns about security of high-technology items and weapons supplied to Iran. Rep. Patricia Schroeder (Democrat, Colorado) says that the security of Iran's Hughes Phoenix air-to-air missile is likely compromised. Iran has 270 of the 100-mile range missiles, considered to be the most advanced in the world. Pentagon officials say that the Phoenix missiles, as well as the F-14s, are still under the control of the Iranian Army.
?"Iran Arms Concern," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 19 February 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com>;.

February 1979
Defense contractor, Soltam, and Israel Military Industries sign a contract with Iran to build an arms producing factory. The factory is to be built close to Isfahan. Soltam uses a cover company registered in Germany and Iran pays $300 million for the project to start. Iran makes another payment of tens of millions of dollars.
?Ronen Bergman, "5 billion Reasons to Talk to Iran," Haaretz (Tel Aviv), 19 March 1999; in "Israel's Outstanding Debt to Iran Viewed, " FBIS Document FTS19990319001273, 19 March 1999.

February 1979
With the collapse of the Shah's regime, the joint Iranian-Israeli missile program "Project Flower" ends.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 48.

February 1979
Iran cancels an order for 160 F-16 fighters from General Dynamics. The Iranian contract calls for deliveries to begin in January 1980, and runs through 1983. There is $660 million in the Iranian trust fund established by the Pentagon for Foreign Military Sales purchases, and $500 million of that is available if needed for termination costs. Among other items canceled: seven Boeing E-3A airborne warning and control systems valued at $1.2 billion; two of four Litton Industries Spruance class destroyers, the total program cost for the four ships is $1.4 billion; 16 McDonnell Douglas RF-4E reconnaissance fighters, valued at $219 million; armored and other vehicles; 400 Hughes Phoenix air-to-air missiles, valued at $250-300 million; 200 McDonnell Douglas Harpoon anti-ship missiles (ASMs), valued at $100 million; 360 Raytheon Improved Hawk surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), valued at nearly $30 million; and 400 Gould Mk. 46 torpedoes, valued at $47 million. [Note: The number of F-4 fighters varies through the February entries.]
?"Iranian Arms Cuts Spur Buyer Search," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 12 February 1979, p. 19, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

3 February 1979
The United States and Iran sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to substantially reduce planned military sales, including the cancellation of major procurements. [Note: See entries under February 1979 and 4 February 1979.] The United States will reduce missile sales to Iran by the following amounts: more than 200 Harpoons, 258 standard SM-1s, 360 I-Hawks, 362 Sidewinders, more than 380 Sparrows, and 444 Phoenix missiles. [Note: Some of the numbers in the MOU are illegible, and the revised quantities of missiles to be sold are not listed. For more information on missile procurement schedules, see entries under 22 January 1975; 1976; May 1979; July 1979; and 11 December 1979. For a list of missiles actually delivered to Iran see 29 January 1980.]
?"Revisions of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Letters of Offer and Acceptance," Memorandum of Understanding between the United States of American and Iran, 3 February 1979, in Digital National Security Archive <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

4 February 1979
The Iranian government, financially hurt by the loss of oil money, decides to cancel U.S. weapons orders worth as much as $10 billion. Major orders being canceled include 160 general dynamic P-16 fighter planes worth $3.5 billion, seven sophisticated airborne warning planes produced by Boeing and worth $1.3 billion, two destroyers worth $1.4 billion, about 20 McDonnell Douglas F-4 reconnaissance planes worth approximately $500 million, and 400 Phoenix missiles worth about $1 billion. [Note: The number of F-4 fighters varies through the February entries.]
?Associated Press, 4 February 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

14 February 1979
Defense department officials say that a reported proposal to let Saudi Arabia buy 14 of Iran's U.S. supplied (1978) fighter planes as a way of keeping them secure has never been seriously considered. These officials, who have asked not to be identified, stress that the 78 F14s, about 500 advanced Phoenix missiles, and highly sensitive electronic aiming devices are the property of the Iranian government because they were bought and paid for with Iranian funds.
?Associated Press, 4 February 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

16 February 1979
Some U.S. officials say they strongly believe the secrecy of key American weapons has been breached in Iran's upheaval. These officials advance that they are particularly concerned with the whereabouts of technical manuals, which show knowledgeable engineers about the structure and workings of the highly sophisticated U.S.-built F-14 fighter and the Phoenix missile system, and how to counter them. These same officials say that such vital manuals are available to dissident Iranian Air Force cadets and technicians. Another weapon system, which some U.S. officials believe has been compromised in the Iranian turmoil, is the improved version of the Hawk anti-aircraft missile.
?Fred Hoffman, Associated Press, 16 February 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

17 February 1979
The upheaval in Iran raises American military concern regarding the sensitive military equipment in the country and the problems of deciding if, when, and how to get it out. The equipment falls into three groups: American devices used to monitor tests of Russian ballistic missiles; American receivers to intercept electronic signals from Russia, and possibly elsewhere; and Iranian-owned modern weapons sold by the West to the Shah. Arms sold to Iran present a different problem; they are Iranian property and all that the United States can do is insist that Iran keeps the agreement not to let another country have them. The most advanced weapons systems in Iran are the 77 F-14 Tomcat fighters [See 11 December 1978?reported number of F-14s is 80.], the six P-3F Orion anti-submarine patrol aircraft, and the Phoenix missiles for the Tomcats, which give the Tomcat its 100-mile punch against other aircraft.
?"Secrets at Risk," The Economist, 17 February 1979, p. 66, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

19 February 1979
Although Iran has canceled $7 billion worth of orders for U.S. weapons, it has kept $5 billion worth of orders on the books, including two Litton destroyers, two U.S. Navy diesel attack submarines, and a variety of missiles, torpedoes, and ammunition.
?"Iran's Arms Cancellation," Business Week, 19 February 1979, p. 36, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

19 February 1979
Rep. Richard Ichord, member of the House Armed Services Committee, says that, "In all probability, Iran's Hughes Phoenix air-to-air missile system has been compromised." Rep. Patricia Schroeder, also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, says that compromise of the 100-mile range missile will offer security problems to the United States. The heart of the Phoenix system, the aircraft-mounted Hughes AN/AWG-9 fire control radar, has been removed from Iran's 77 Grumman F-14 fighters. A Pentagon spokesman says the Phoenix missiles and the F-14s are still under the Imperial Army's guard. Iran has 270 of the missiles.
?"Iran Arms Concern," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 19 February 1979, p. 13, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

12 March 1979
The Army Aviation Command warns that missiles stolen form the air base located near Tehran during the culmination of the revolution last month could easily explode because they are highly sensitive to atmospheric and temperature changes. The announcement says the explosion of one of the missiles can cause death and serious property damage over an area of two square miles.
?Brian Jeffries, Associated Press, 12 March 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

29 March 1979
Officials of the new Iranian government are interested in having the U.S. buy back the F-14 fighter planes sold to the Shah. The sources, asking not to be identified, say that the Iranian government has approached the United States recently about selling back 78 F-14 fighter planes and their 200 Phoenix air-to-air missiles that were originally sold to Iran in 1974.
?Associated Press, 29 March 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

May 1979
The United States makes its final delivery of 274 Phoenix missiles to Iran as part of a $687 million deal originally approved in 1972. [Note: See 1972 entry.]
?Foreign Military Sales Commitments to Iran, Confidential Memorandum from the U.S. Department of Defense, 3 March 1977, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

July 1979
The United States makes its final delivery of 37 Improved Hawk surface-to-air missile (SAM) battalions to Iran, which includes a total of 1811 Hawk missiles. [Note: Later documents indicate that as many as 2,205 Hawks were delivered. See entries for 11 December 1979 and 20 January 1980.] The $687 million deal was originally approved in 1971. [Note: See 1971 entry.]
?Foreign Military Sales Commitments to Iran, Confidential Memorandum from the U.S. Department of Defense, 3 March 1977, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

13 July 1979
The Governor of Khorramshar Port contacts UPI about a clash between the Revolution Guards and arms smugglers in Minu Island. The smugglers were carrying Soviet-made RPG-7 missiles from Iraq to Iran.
?"Arrest of Arms Smugglers Near Khorramshahr," The BBC, 13 July 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

10 August 1979
British Secretary of Defense, Fred Mulley, visits Iran. Radio London announces that England assists Iran by building tanks and missiles.
?"BBC Criticized In Iranian Commentary," The BBC, 10 August 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

19 September 1979
The Soviet newspaper, Pravda, reports that Iranian governmental forces are forced to use missiles and air force in order to clear the rural areas in the Piranshahr, Mariva, and Salmas rebellion in Iran's Kurdistan.
?"'Pravda's Report on Events in Kordestan," The BBC, 19 September 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

24 September 1979
Iran holds its first naval maneuvers since the revolution. The Commander of the Navy, Admiral Ahmad Madani, orders the five-day sea exercises to test the ability of Iran's naval task force to defend the country's shores and vital oil installations. Taking part in the naval exercises are destroyers, missile carrying patrol boats, frigates, hovercraft, and landing craft. Commodore Deyhimi, the Commander of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman naval base, says that the exercises, involving the four light missile craft, will finish on 3 October. He also states that a series of exercises will be held throughout the year. The Air Force is involved by providing air cover for today's exercises.
?"Iran Holds Naval Maneuvers," Xinhua News Agency, 25 September 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com>;; "Iran," The BBC, 26 September 1979, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

11 December 1979
The following missiles have been delivered to Iran from the United States, under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976: 9,717 Dragons; 14 Harpoons; 1,442 Hawks; 2,500 Mavericks; 424 Phoenix; 288 Sidewinders; 516 Sparrows; 128 Standards; and 19,064 TOWs. [Note: A later State Department document indicates that 2,205 Hawks and 26,266 TOWs were sold to Iran. See entry under 20 January 1980.]
?"Major End Items Delivered to Iran under FMS," Confidential List from the U.S. Defense Security Assistance Agency, 11 December 1979, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

24 December 1979
Italians have been delaying shipments of spare parts to Iran, including 400 Agusta Bell helicopters as well as missiles for Italian-built naval patrol boats. Officials in Rome suggest that it may be increasingly hard to resist Iranian pressures for delivery of the weapons if the hostage crisis drags on.
?"Card the U.S. Can Still Play," Business Week, 24 December 1979, p. 40, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1980
Iran deploys and uses the Hughes TOW and Raytheon Dragon anti-tank missiles in its war with Iraq. Maverick air-to-surface missiles are fired from Iranian F-4s against bridges in and around Basra, Iraq.
?David R. Griffiths, "Iran Begins to Use Cobras, Mavericks," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 13 October 1980, p. 24, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1980
Iran has a stockpile of American made weapons such as air-to-air, air-to-surface, surface-to-air and anti-tank missiles.
?Shahram Chubin and Charles Tripp, Iran and Iraq at War (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991), p. 207.

1980-1989
Iran purchases 100 HY-2 Silkworm anti-ship missiles from China for installation at two fixed sites near the Strait of Hormuz and for equipment of three or four further mobile missile battalions. Iran has contracted to buy 200 C-801 cruise missiles from China.
?"Iran," Jane's Intelligence Review, 1 December 1992, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

29 January 1980
A secret U.S. State Department report lists some of the heavy weapons that the United States sold to Iran while the Shah was in power. The list includes 424 Phoenix missiles sold for $202.3 million; 2,500 Maverick missiles sold for $57.4 million; 2,205 Hawk missiles sold for $315.3 million; and 26,266 TOW missiles sold for $90.5 million.
?"Military/Security Issues: B. The U.S.-Iranian Military Relationship, 1941-1979," Secret Report of the U.S. Department of State, 29 January 1980, in Digital National Security Archive, <nsarchive.chadwyck.com/>;.

13 October 1980
Media reports detail that three Iranian Boeing 747s have flown to North Korea and returned with what military sources believe are medical supplies and artillery shells. This appears to be one of the first instances of Iranian-North Korean cooperation with the transfer of supplies and other military material.
?David R. Griffiths, "Iran Begins to Use Cobras, Mavericks," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 13 October 1980, p. 24, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

30 October 1980
A working paper prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense in September contains a list of $220 million worth of advanced military equipment and spare parts purchased by Iran in previous years. According to Pentagon officials, the equipment can be shipped to Iran as soon as President Carter lifts economic sanctions against Iran after the freeing of U.S. hostages. Some of the items included on the list are cluster bomb units, laser-guided bombs, and other air-to-ground munitions worth $26.6 million; 8,656 Dragon anti-tank missiles worth $33 million; a battery of improved HAWK SAMs and three air defense radar units worth a total of $20.8 million. An unidentified Carter administration aide says the Pentagon ordered the Sperry-Vickers Company in Jackson, Mississippi, to ship Iranian-owned spare parts for the Phoenix air-to-air missile to the Philadelphia Navy Yard last week. A Sperry-Vickers spokesman declines to comment on the report. Pentagon aides, however, say that when American military technicians left Iran in early 1979, a special effort was made to remove essential components from the Phoenix missile, the most advanced air-to-air systems in the world.
?Richard Burt, "Iran's Weapons in US Include Cluster Bombs," New York Times, 30 October 1980, p. A14, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

5 November 1980
U.S. Department of Defense officials say that France supplies both Iran and Iraq with military equipment: aircraft engines, tank parts, and anti-tank missiles to the Iranians and jet fighters, helicopters, and anti-tank and other missiles to the Iraqis.
?Daniel Southerland, "Iraq-Iran war: neither seems able to win, but have both lost enough to negotiate?" The Christian Science Monitor, 5 November 1980, p. 1, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1981
Israel reportedly sends Hawk missiles and other arms and artillery for the first time to post-revolution Iran.
?Richard Johns, "Arms Embargo Which Cannot Withstand The Profit Motive," Financial Times (London), 13 November 1987, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

February 1981
Because of Italy's dependence on Iraqi oil, it can be reluctant to deliver helicopters and sea-to-air missiles that Italian companies have built for Iran.
?"For deals in Iran, it's cash and carry," Business Week, 2 February 1981, p. 15, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1982
The necessity of having the capability of responding in kind to the Iraqi missiles that are hitting Iran is driving the Iranian missile program. Iran's missile program seems to have been evolving around three goals: acquiring Scud-Bs, designing and making an artillery rocket that resembled the FROG-7A, and having the capability to manufacture tactical ballistic missiles. The major obstacles for Iran's in making its own missiles is the infrastructure of the Defense Industries Organization and the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and the fact that most foreign experts left the country during 1979. As part of its indigenous missile-making efforts, Iran begins the construction of the Oghab (Eagle) artillery rocket. Iran also develops battlefield support rockets.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., pp. 49, 51.

1983
Iran has agreed to contribute funding to the North Korean "Scud-B" reverse-engineering program.
?Duncan Lennox, "Iran's Ballistic Missile Projects: Uncovering The Evidence," Jane's Intelligence Review, June 1998, p. 24.

1983
Mehdi Kashani, an Iranian arms dealer who lives in Madrid, is involved in arms smuggling to Iran. This is evident in the form of a shipment of arms bound for Iran leaving Portugal.
?Chris Hedges, "Iran flings its arms net over a small airport in Germany; Lax regulations at local flying fields have opened a door to Tehran's nuclear ambitions," The Guardian (London), 16 March 1995, p. 12, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1983
The U.S. Operation Staunch is implemented in order to keep other countries from selling military equipment and parts to Iran. Supposedly, it has deterred Argentina, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and South Korea from selling weapons to Iran.
?Richard Johns, "Arms Embargo Which Cannot Withstand The Profit Motive," The Financial Times (London), 13 November 1987, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1983
A Deputy Minister for Industries position is established within the Ministry of Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC). This new entity is responsible for the work of 13 industrial groups charged with research on weapon production. The research includes work on retrofitting, reconditioning, and repairing existing material and the production of shells, anti-tank missiles, air-defense (SAM) and surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) such as the adapted Scud version. Mohsen Rezai, head of the IRGC, claims that the IRGC will be able to reach self-sufficiency in RPG-7 and other anti-tank missiles and will soon start manufacturing SAMs and SSMs.
?Shahram Chubin and Charles Tripp, Iran and Iraq at War (Boulder: Westview Press, 1991), pp. 129-130.

1983
Iran possesses a total of 12 HAWK and MIM-23B improved HAWK missile batteries.
?Mark Heller, ed., Dov Tamari, and Zeev Eytan, "Iran," The Middle East Military Balance 1983 (Tel Aviv: Jerusalem Post Press, 1983), p. 97.

1983
Iran acquires Scud-Bs. The Soviet Union sells Iraq and other countries Scud-B missiles but does not allow these countries to sell Scud-B missiles to third parties. Many countries that have these ballistic missiles are supporting Iraq during the war. Only Libya and Syria are allied with Iran and are willing to sell these missiles to Iran. Iran discussed this issue with both countries earlier in the year. Syria sells Iran multiple-rocket launchers (MRLs) and other military ware, and Libya sells Iran a few surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 51.

2 April 1984
According to foreign military sources in China, China covertly supplies Iran with combat aircraft and other military equipment in sales funneled through North Korea since the Iran-Iraq War began. China is believed to have sent its first large arms shipment through North Korea in summer of 1983 after the conclusion of a $1.3 billion deal negotiated during a visit of a high-level Iranian military delegation to Beijing in April 1983. According to Arab sources, Chinese aircraft and other military equipment are placed in crates in Pyongyang and put on ships heading for Iran. There are reports of China directly shipping weapons to Iran using Greek or Japanese vessels. China denies that it is involved with shipping any weapons to Iran and contends that any shipment of Chinese weapons to Iran was arranged by Pyongyang itself.
?Michael Weisskopf, "China Sells Arms to Iran via N. Korea," The Washington Post, 3 April 1984, p. A1, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

October 1983
Iranian Prime Minister Husayn Musavi and Defense Minister Colonel Mohammad Salimi visit North Korea. North Korea's Scud-Mod. B program is most likely on the agenda, and thus, Iran decides to reach an agreement on missile technology exchange between the two countries and to help finance the missile program with the option of buying them once they are ready for the market.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 51.

25-26 October 1983
Iranian Prime Minister Ruhollah Musavi and Defense Minister Colonel Mohammed Salimi hold talks with North Korean Prime Minister Lee Chong Ok and Minister of the People's Armed Forces O Jin U. The parties reach an arrangement for the long-term Iranian financing of North Korea's Scud-B development program in exchange for Iran's option to purchase production models. Musavi and Salimi leave North Korea on the 26th after a three-day visit.
?Korean Central News Agency, 25 October and 26 October 1983, in "Iranian Prime Minister's Visit to North Korea," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 29 October 1983, in Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;; Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Ballistic Missile Development in Egypt," Jane's Intelligence Review, 1 October 1992, pp. 452-458; Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK," Occasional Paper No. 2, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, November 1999, p. 10; Lee J&#335;ng Hun, "FROGes&#335; Taepodong Kkaji: Pukhan Missile Game," Shindonga, August 1999, p. 202.

1984
North Korea orders approximately 240 Scud-B missiles from the USSR; the missiles are delivered from 1985 to 1988. About 100 are re-sold to Iran. (Note: The accuracy of this report is questionable, but it would establish a "lower bound" for North Korea's program to reverse engineer the Scud-B).
?SIPRI, SIPRI Yearbook 1989: World Armaments and Disarmament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 256.

1984
It is speculated that South Africa has been supplying Iran with arms until 1984. It then sold Iraq its "G-5 long-range artillery pieces" to prevent weapons from South Africa's Armaments Corporation from going to Iran.
?Richard Johns, "Arms Embargo Which Cannot Withstand The Profit Motive," Financial Times (London), 13 November 1987, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

1984
In a secret agreement, Iran and Libya agrees to sell Scud-B transporter erector-launchers (TELs) to Iran.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 51.

1984-1986
Aero Systems Inc. of Miami sells missile and fighter jet parts to Iran.
?"Aero Systems is Fined $160,000 for Selling Fighter Parts to Iran," The Miami Herald, 1 July 1993, p. C1, in Lexis-Nexis, <www.lexis-nexis.com/>;.

April and September 1984
North Korea tests its first three Scud-Mod. B missiles. These missiles are based on Egyptian Scud-Bs, which North Korea wants to reverse engineer and extend the range of. They will be called Scud-Mod. B and the Scud-Mod. C. Iran helps fund this program, accelerating the development process of these missiles. It is believed that Iranians were present during these flight-tests.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "Iran's Missile Development," The International Missile Bazaar: The New Supplier's Network (San Francisco: Westview Press, 1994), William C. Potter and Harlan W. Jencks, eds., p. 51; Joseph S. Berumdez, Jr., A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Occasional Paper No. 2, February 2000.

24 August 1984
Bijan Zanganeh, minister of the Construction Jihad (CJ), says that the CJ has built a device that deflects Exocet missiles aimed at oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Iran is reportedly attempting to devise a method to fool the Exocet missiles from hitting their targets. Zanganeh says that only a fraction of the missiles have been able to cripple ships and oil tankers loading at Iran's ports and terminals in the northern tip of the Persian Gulf.
?"Exocet Missile Deflector Built by Construction Jihad," IRNA, 24 August 1984, in FBIS.

October 1984
Yuri Geifman and Iranian businessman Babeck Seroush are indicted in New York for conspiracy to smuggle components used in missile guidance to North Korea.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and W. Seth Carus, "The North Korean 'Scud B' Programme," Jane's Soviet Intelligence Review, April 1989, pp. 177-181; Lee J&#335;ng Hun, "FROGes&#335; Taepodong Kkaji: Pukhan Missile Game," Shindonga, August 1999, p. 202.

Late 1984
Iran purchases a small quantity of Scud-B ballistic missiles from Libya.
?Kenneth R. Timmerman, Weapons of Mass Destruction The Case of Iran, Syria and Libya (Los Angeles: Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1992), p. 20.

Late 1984-Early 1985
North Korea helps establish a Hwas&#335;ng-5 assembly plant in Iran, including providing all necessary technical documentation and regular exchange of technicians and military officials.
?Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., "A History of Ballistic Missile Development in the DPRK," Occasional Paper No. 2, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, November 1999

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