February 15, 2023 | Press Release

Iran Has Launched 228 Ballistic Missiles Since Agreeing to 2015 Iran Deal: FDD Report

February 15, 2023 | Press Release

Iran Has Launched 228 Ballistic Missiles Since Agreeing to 2015 Iran Deal: FDD Report

New FDD Monograph, “Arsenal: Assessing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program” offers the most comprehensive open-source look at Iran’s lethal missile threat

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2023 –The Islamic Republic of Iran has launched at least 228 ballistic missiles as part of flight tests, drills, and military operations since agreeing to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, according to a new Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) report.

Iran launched more than 100 ballistic missiles in 2022 alone – more than three times the number the regime launched in 2021, writes FDD Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu. The 2022 launches include a ballistic missile strike in Iraq that killed an American citizen.

“The greater Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities, the more inclined the regime may be to use them,” says Taleblu. He finds that Iran has significantly improved core capabilities including missile range, precision, and mobility even as it progressed on motors and grew its underground storage depots and bases.

Taleblu expects Iran’s regional destabilization efforts to grow as its ballistic missiles evolve. When Iran responded for the U.S. killing of IRGC Quds-Force Chief Qassem Soleimani, it chose ballistic missiles for the attack on U.S. positions in Iraq.

Taleblu explains how and why Iran’s ballistic missiles will improve over time, and how Tehran’s technical progress on missiles will drive it to employ these weapons more often. Expect more missile attacks and transfers from Iran, not fewer, he argues. “The safer the regime feels, the more risks it is inclined to take,” Taleblu says.

Arsenal: Assessing the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program” also details how China, North Korea, and Russia contributed critical ballistic missile technology over the past four decades to Iran. Tehran has reciprocated by providing Moscow drone technology to use against Ukraine.

“Taleblu describes in impressive detail the origins, evolution, and future of a weapon that has become synonymous with the Iranian threat,” Vice Admiral (Ret) James D. Syring, former director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, writes in the foreword.

He adds: “Taleblu leverages an impressive array of English- and Persian-language sources to produce one of the most comprehensive publicly available assessments to date of Iranian ballistic missile capabilities and intentions.”

“With encyclopedic detail, Behnam helps the reader understand how Iran uses missiles, who produces them, to whom they have been proliferated, and where the threat is unfolding,” said FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz. “This is the resource to understand the Islamic regime’s ballistic missile threat against Israel, the United States, and its allies in Europe and the Middle East.”

The FDD report comes as the clerical regime advances its nuclear program, expands weapons proliferation to proxies in the Middle East as well as to Russia for use in the Ukraine, all while brutalizing its own people who have been protesting bravely at home.

The report explains:

  • The birth of the Iranian ballistic missile program.
  • The role of ballistic missiles in Iran’s national security strategy.
  • In-depth analysis of Tehran’s ballistic missile arsenal and where/how they’ve been used – including against U.S. forces in 2020.
  • The domestic “engine” that propels Iran’s ballistic missile program.
  • How, and when, the U.S failed to restrict Iran’s ballistic missile program.

“Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal is growing in size and quality,” Taleblu writes. “It is a threat to U.S. interests and the security of America’s allies in the greater Middle East. Improvements in ballistic missile precision, range, mobility, warhead design, and survivability imply an increasingly lethal long-range strike capability in the hands of the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”

Please contact FDD media relations at [email protected] to arrange an interview.


About the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

FDD is a Washington, DC-based, nonpartisan policy institute focused on national security and foreign policy. Connect with FDD on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.