At a conference held on June 20, 2017, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Washington released a report on the latest missile activities of Iran. Based on information that was compiled over a long period time demonstrates that these activities have actually accelerated. The findings were presented by Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the U.S. Representative Office of the NCRI.
Since the start of the nuclear agreement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has increased its missile development and deployment and Khamenei has tasked them with the aerospace force as well. Aerospace force is dominated the Iranian missile program. The sites appear to be chosen based on the objectives of the Iranian regime, in terms of threatening their neighbors and the West.
The NCRI released a list of 42 sites that are involved in the production, design, storage and testing of the missiles. Fifteen are part of the design and manufacturing, and the other 27 are involved in testing, storage, training, deployment, and operations. He also indicated that North Korean experts have assisted Iran in building underground missile facilities and garrisons, as well as training IRGC experts. The press conference showed satellite imagery on four of the most important missile centers, including one closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear program.
“The relationship with Iran and North Korea on their missile programs is so close, they have designated a residential area for the North Koreans,” said Jafarzadeh. “The IRGC’s missile sites have been created based on North Korean models. DPRK experts have helped the Iranian regime build them.”
Additionally, the missiles fired into Syria on June 18 were from Panjang Pele Kermanshah missile site, and were missiles from the IRGC. All missiles are fired under the command of Khamenei and even the time of the launch is determined by him, according to a former chairman of Iran’s Joint Chief of Staff. The strikes were targeting ISIS fighters, according to Iran. These are the first missiles strikes from Iran into another country in three decades, but also represent a major escalation of Iran’s role in the Syrian war.
The conference notes that the international community needs to increase broad sanctions against Iran, designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, and the expulsion of the IRGC, its affiliated militias, and proxies from the region, particularly from Syria and Iraq. He also noted that the U.S. Senate has recently passed a bill with additional sanctions on Iran and that takes a tougher stance on the IRGC, despite not designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. Jafarzadeh also noted that Iran looks for loopholes in various laws, and these loopholes need to be closed up.