Washington’s bipartisan consensus is that Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons or missiles capable of threatening the United States with nuclear attack. But some Israeli analysts and some highly credible U.S. experts disagree with the “consensus view.”
Several senior Reagan and Clinton Administration national security officials warned in 2015 and again in 2021: “Regardless of intelligence uncertainties and unknowns about Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we know enough now to make a prudent judgment that Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing an existential threat to the United States and its allies…The fact of Iran’s…proximity to nuclear weapons necessitates that Iran be regarded as a nuclear missile state—right now… Iran probably has nuclear warheads for the Shahab-III medium-range missile, which they tested for making EMP attacks”
Iran has hundreds of medium-range and short-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs and SRBMs), more by far than any other nation in the Middle East. If armed with a nuclear warhead, any of these could be fused for high-altitude burst to make an EMP attack.
Iran has not demonstrated a military intercontinental missile equipped with a reentry vehicle capable of penetrating the atmosphere, accurate enough to strike a city. Yet a High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP) attack does not require a reentry vehicle or accuracy.
If North Korea, Iran’s strategic partner, gives the IRGC a Super-EMP nuclear weapon, they would not have to wait for a “true ICBM” but could use a satellite to blackout North America and terminate the “Great Satan.”
Iran’s intentions to exploit HEMP offensively may be reflected in their efforts to protect at least some of their critical infrastructures from HEMP attack.
An official Iranian military textbook endorses nuclear HEMP attack against the United States, as well as deception measures to conceal nuclear weapons in violation of international agreements.
Iran has demonstrated sophisticated cruise missiles and drones, using over 20 to make highly precise and coordinated attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities on September 14, 2019.
Such delivery vehicles could easily be armed with Non-Nuclear EMP (NNEMP) warheads.
NNEMP might be able to achieve results similar to a nuclear HEMP attack in blacking-out power grids, though the NNEMP attack would probably take hours instead of seconds.
If Iran acquires or develops nuclear HEMP attack capabilities, Iran's targets or that of its terrorist proxies will most likely be the populations of America and Israel.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has access to all of Iran’s weapons and is so fanatical that a scenario cannot be ruled out
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Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security.