Last week, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington D.C. released a nine-page primer on Iran’s continued support to Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Buried within the same document was photographic evidence of Saudi Arabia’s latest charge against Iran: the provision of the Sayyad-2C surface-to-air missile (SAM) to Houthi rebels.
Pro-Houthi media outlets like Yemen News Agency (SABA) reported that at least three types of projectiles were fired into the Kingdom. They include the Burkan-2H, the Qaher-2M, and the Badr-1. Both the Burkan and the Qaher have been used multiple times in the Yemeni theater, while the Badr was only unveiled last week.
On select measures of the Iran threat, the 2018 document is remarkably consistent with themes from past assessments. Yet, in this latest assessment, additional attention is paid to the country’s evolving cyber aptitudes and to its turbulent domestic politics.
At the strategic level, if Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels is confirmed, it could be seen as an indicator Tehran’s increased tolerance for risk in a distant conflict theater, one which has sought to weaken Saudi Arabia by any means possible.
Getting the right answers on allegations surrounding an alleged Iranian ballistic missile launch requires asking the right questions. The following eight questions make sense of the English and Persian language news reporting surrounding the Khorramshahr ballistic missile.
Iranian press outlets report that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has fired missiles from Iranian territory at the Syrian governorate of Deir ez-Zor in response to the recent Islamic State terror attacks in Tehran.
Iran’s political elite have weighed-in on the recent US cruise missile strikes in Syria and used the opportunity to plug their regime’s narrative. While time will tell if Iran will ultimately read the strike as a show of American resolve or indecision, Iranian officials have fallen back on gloating, intimidation, and misinformation tactics that so often characterize Persian-language reporting.
A deeper look at a recent airstrike in Sanaa by the Saudi-led military coalition, where Iranian security elites display a penchant for narrative, a circumscription of their own support for the war, as well the traditional blaming of the United States. In so doing, light is shed on how these security planners see their regional rivalries.