Iran’s Short-Range Missiles and Drones Are Now a Regional Reality

Iran’s Short-Range Missiles and Drones Are Now a Regional Reality
Iran’s Abu Mahdi naval cruise missiles are displayed in a ceremony to mark their delivery to the navy and the Revolutionary Guard navy, in Iran, July 25, 2023 (Iranian Defense Ministry photo via AP).

Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles long have been the focus of international attention by virtue of having the combination of range and payload required to potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to a target as distant as Israel. The war between Israel and Hamas, however, has raised the urgency of understanding other Iranian strike capabilities, especially the newer, shorter-range systems used by Iranian proxies such as Hezbollah.

Over the past two decades, Iran has developed and deployed an increasingly diverse array of shorter-range strike systems that are intended for use in a complementary combined arms manner both within Iran and by Iranian proxies across the Middle East. Through these systems, which are employed by Iranian proxies with increasing regularity, Iran has greatly enhanced its regional strike capabilities.

In the opening days of the Israel-Hamas war, Hezbollah has already launched strikes from Lebanon against military outposts in Israel’s north, to which Israel has responded in turn. If these clashes widen to an all-out northern front in the war, these newer, shorter-range systems developed by Iran will no doubt feature prominently in Hezbollah’s strategy.

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