May 25, 2023
Benedetta Bisaccia, Christine Saddy, CENTCOM/AFRICOM Team
Evan Beachler, Radhika Ramalinga Venkatachalam, Editor; Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor
Event: On May 25, 2023, Iran publicly unveiled its latest missile named “Kheibar,” with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles) that contains radar-evading technology and can circumvent enemy air defense systems, posing a potential threat to US military bases and Israel. The unveiling ceremony, broadcast live across national television networks, featured the Kheibar missile alongside a symbolic replica of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque. Iran has one of the most extensive missile programs in the Middle East and now claims its upgraded missiles can reach Israel and US bases in the area. Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani sent a clear message pledging to protect allies in the region and defend the country and its achievements from "enemies." This development unfolds against heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, centered around Iran's nuclear program.
Significance: Introducing the Kheibar missile signifies a crucial advancement in Iran's strategic capabilities, which will almost certainly have far-reaching implications on the US, and Israel. The Kheibar missile very likely poses a direct challenge to Israel's security and will likely prompt defensive actions or countermeasures from Israel to safeguard its interests and national security. Israel will likely conduct preemptive strikes on Iranian bases in neighboring countries to mitigate the risk of a direct attack. Israel will very likely enhance its espionage efforts targeting Iran to acquire critical information regarding the missile's technology, thereby advancing its own Iron Dome technology. Both the US and Israel will very likely increase their military capabilities and security forces in nearby bases to respond swiftly to potential attacks. Advanced missile technology will almost certainly embolden Iran and complicate the ongoing nuclear talks related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), potentially impacting the negotiations and raising concerns. Increased missile capabilities will likely undermine trust among the JCPOA signatories and the broader global community in Iran’s willingness to adhere to international agreements. The missile unveiling will likely prompt other regional actors to reassess their security strategies, likely leading to closer defense cooperation with external powers.
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends that the US government and Israel bolster their intelligence monitoring systems to closely track Iran's missile development and testing activities and gather information on the Kheibar missile’s capabilities, including its range, accuracy, and payload capacity.
CTG recommends that the US, Israel, and other countries directly affected by Iran's missile capabilities strengthen intelligence cooperation and sharing mechanisms with regional partners and allies by exchanging information, assessments, and expertise to enhance collective situational awareness and response readiness.
CTG recommends that countries assess how this action may influence regional dynamics, ongoing negotiations, and existing agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). The international community should prioritize understanding the implications for broader non-proliferation efforts and diplomatic initiatives to mitigate regional tensions.
CTG recommends that Israel and affected countries conduct scenario-based analyses to anticipate future developments and implications. Policymakers and military planners should consider various contingencies, including different response options from involved parties, potential escalation scenarios, and the impact on broader regional stability.
If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email email@example.com.
 Iran says it has successfully test-launched ballistic missile, Reuters, May 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iran-unveils-2000-km-ballistic-missile-irna-2023-05-25/
 Iran unveils new missile with 2,000-kilometer range, capable of hitting Israel, Time of Israel, May 2023,