Iran Reports Successful Test of Underground Ballistic Missile

Missiles are launched from underground, camouflaged silos

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard issued a statement Wednesday claiming to have successfully launched an underground ballistic missile for the first time during live-fire exercises this week. The missile was in an underground silo, and the Guards claim this is the first successful such launch anywhere in the world.

It’s not clear in what way this is the first time, as underground missiles have been a thing for decades. That these are a thing in Iran’s already substantial missile arsenal now could change things quite a bit.

Iran can now keep a portion of its missile system deployed underground, where they aren’t visible to be targeted in the event the US or Israel attacks, and gives them some semi-secure retaliatory capabilities.

US officials have argued that Iran isn’t allowed to have ballistic missiles under UN rules. Those rules technically only restrict nuclear-capable missiles, which Iran argues is irrelevant because Iran doesn’t have nuclear arms to start with.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.