"With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran
could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile
(ICBM) capable of reaching the United States by 2015," said the April
report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.
A classified version was also submitted to Congress.
timing of advances in Iran's long-range missile technology is being
closely watched in Washington, which accuses Tehran of pursuing nuclear
weapons and is pushing for a new round of sanctions. Iran denies the
charges and says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of
developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent
strategy," the report said.
U.S. military tried and failed to shoot down a simulated Iranian
missile strike on the United States in January, in a botched $150
million exercise over the Pacific Ocean. That attempt failed because of
a malfunction in a radar built by Raytheon Co.
was not immediately clear whether the latest estimate on Iran's missile
technology was a departure from a May 2009 National Intelligence
Estimate, which deemed Tehran unlikely to have a long-range missile
until between 2015 and 2020, according to U.S. officials who saw the
report at the time.
The 2009 estimate was revised from an earlier range of between 2012 to 2015.
Ike Skelton, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services
Committee, called the report a "comprehensive view of the military
situation in Iran."
LEBANON RE-ARMED, TALIBAN SUPPORT
report also included an assessment of Iran's broader military
capabilities and support for insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, as
well as groups like Hamas in the Palestinian territories and Hezbollah
With Iranian support,
Hezbollah has replenished its arsenal beyond levels it had in the 2006
war with Israel, the report said, without offering specifics.
through its long-standing relationship with Lebanese (Hezbollah),
maintains a capability to strike Israel directly and threatens Israeli
and U.S. interests worldwide," it said.
report cited recently uncovered caches of weapons that Iran's Qods
Force gave to Afghan militants. They contained "large amounts of
Iranian-manufactured weapons," including 107 mm rockets.
estimated the size of Iran's "Ground Force" at 220,000 personnel and
the Revolutionary Guard Corps's "Ground Resistance Forces" at 130,000
personnel. It said Iran had between 1,800 and 1,900 tanks.
Barack Obama's national security advisers are considering a broad range
of options to curb Iran's nuclear program, among them military strikes,
if diplomacy and sanctions fail.
Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff,
said on Sunday the military options available to Obama would go "a long
way" to delaying Iran's nuclear progress but may not set the country
He called a
military strike his "last option" right now and has repeatedly warned
of potential, unintended consequences of any action against Iran.