Tag Archives: Iran missile capabilities

Book Review: Troubling Tehran: Reflections on Geopolitics

Strategic Analysis, Vol. 38, No. 3, May 2014, pp. 376-378.

Aditi Malhotra, Senior Research Fellow, National Institute of Advanced Studies

strat analysisThe ever dynamic nuclear conundrum of Iran has continued to hog the limelight. Numerous suggestions emanating from varied quarters about how to manage the issue have dominated the ongoing international discourse. However, there is no unanimity on how to cope with the current situation and the impending future.

Surprisingly, in the Indian context, where Iran’s importance is undeniable, the debates have remained limited and incomprehensive. Troubling Tehran is a book that seeks to address this lacuna and trigger an Indian cogitation on Iran and the prognosis.

For the complete book review click here
The book can be bought from Flipkart | Bookadda | Amazon | Amazon India

Round Table: Iran A War has Begun: Day One

Videos of the Round Table “Iran: A War has Begun”

May 31-June 1, 2013, JRD Tata Auditorium, NIAS Bangalore

Day I: May 31, 2013

Opening Remarks: Prof. VS Ramamurthy, Director, NIAS

Outlining the concept of the Round Table: Vice Admiral (retd.) Vijay Shankar

Session I

The Nature of this war: Vice Admiral (retd) Vijay Shankar


Iranian Nuclear Programme: An overview : Dr. Arun Vishwanathan


Technical Aspects of Iranian Nuclear Programme: Dr. LV Krishnan


Session I: Discussion and Q&A


Session II

Iranian Missile Programme: Prof. Rajaram Nagappa


Iran’s Military Capability, Asymmetric warfare & its efficacy : Vice Admiral (retd.) PJ Jacob


Iran: An Insider’s Account: Dr. Masoud Imani Kalesar


Session II: Discussion and Q & A



Troubling Tehran: Reflections on Geopolitics

Troubling Tehran: Reflections on Geopolitics, Pentagon Press, 2013, pp.xviii+140, ISBN: 978-81-8274-723-4

Editors: Arun Vishwanathan and Rajaram Nagappa

The book can be bought from Flipkart | Bookadda | Amazon | Amazon India

Troubling TehranWhat is the best approach for resolving differences over the Iranian nuclear programme and preventing a conflict? How would a conflict possibly unravel given Iranian military, asymmetric and missile capabilities? What does a military conflict over Iran mean for international order and India in particular? These are some of the questions that the book, Troubling Tehran: Reflections on Geopolitics analyses and seeks answers to.

The Iranian nuclear programme is a complex subject plagued by fundamental differences on how best to resolve it. While some advocate diplomacy and economic sanctions as a way forward, others push for a military response arguing that pursuing diplomacy provides Iran additional time to achieve a break-out capability. However, military coercion may not yield desired results, given the dispersed nature of Iranian nuclear facilities. A strike in fact is likely to accelerate Iranian nuclear weaponisation programme. The recent sanctioning of Iran’s oil sector adds to the regime’s cup of woes which is already overflowing due to a host of economic problems. However, the jury is still out on the question of whether sanctions would spark public disaffection against the regime.

The implications of a military conflict involving Iran are serious for Asia, particularly India. About 85 percent of Iranian oil exports are eastward bound. Dependence on crude and natural gas imports from the Middle East and North Africa region including Iran poses a dilemma for Indian policy makers. New Delhi thus needs to strike a fine balance while basing its policy on realpolitik and national interest.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction – Arun Vishwanathan and Rajaram Nagappa
  2. Iran: A War has Begun – Vijay Shankar
  3. Iran’s Nuclear Programme: Where is it headed? –  Arun Vishwanathan
  4. Iran’s Nuclear Activities: A Technical Appraisal of Declared Intentions and Reality – L V Krishnan
  5. Iran’s Missile Capabilities – Rajaram Nagappa and S. Chandrashekar
  6. Iran’s Military Capability, Asymmetric Warfare and its Efficacy – P J Jacob
  7. Iran: An Insider’s Account – Masoud Imani Kalesar
  8. World Dependence on Iranian Oil: Sanctions on Iran and Impact on India – V Raghuraman
  9. Iran: The Road Ahead – K C Singh
  10. Conclusion and Recommendations – Arun Vishwanathan and Rajaram Nagappa

Arun Vishwanathan is Assistant Professor, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Rajaram Nagappa is Head, International Strategic and Security Studies Programme, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

Iran’s Safir Launch Vehicle

Iran’s Safir Launch Vehicle

Authors: Rajaram Nagappa, S. Chandrashekar, Lalitha Sundaresan and N. Ramani

To read complete report in pdf click here

Irans-Safir-lanch-Vechicle-Report-150x150Iran joined a select group of nations having indigenous satellite launch capability, when it orbited its Omid satellite on the night of February 02, 2009 on board its indigenously developed launch vehicle Safir 2. The event was widely covered in the media and images and video footage of the launch have been posted on the internet.

The launch images confirm the first stage pedigree with the North Korean Nodong missile. The fin shape, the jet vane control system and the exhaust plume signature of the Nodong and Safir first stage are quite similar. North Korea has sold and transferred the technology of this missile to Iran, where it is known as Shahab 3B. (It may be noted that the Pakistani missile Ghauri has a similar linkage to Nodong missile). From the nozzle exhaust signature, it is clear that a single engine (and not a cluster of 2 or 4 engines) is employed for the first stage.

From measurements on the Safir images the length of the first stage is about 15 m. This length includes the engine, the oxidizer and fuel tanks. Our earlier measurement of engine length on the Shahab 3 missile was seen to be 2.25 m. Taking this length for the Safir engine and making allowances for the engine-tank interface as well as the space between the oxidizer and fuel tanks, the total tank length is estimated to be 11.8 m — longer than the tank length of 9.3 m in Shahab3A and 11 m in Shahab 3B, resulting in improved propellant loading. From this, the propellant and the total stage mass have been estimated to be 18.6 tonnes and 21.6 tonnes respectively.

Observation of the Safir launch vehicle images indicated that the diameter of the second stage is the same as the first stage. The total length of the second stage including the interface with stage 1, the engine and the nozzle is about 4.2 m.

The launcher can easily be converted into a two stage missile. Using the derived values of stage and propellant masses and assuming a 1000 kg warhead, the achieved range works out to 2400 km. This would enable Iran to target all parts of the Middle East, parts of Europe and certainly large parts of India from a south eastern location. With the launch of the Safir/Omid mission, Iran has demonstrated core launch vehicle technology capabilities.

Conducting Academic and Policy Research related to National and International Security Issues
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