IISS report claims that International sanctions are slowing down the Iranian ballistic missile program
The NATO had earlier expressed concerns over the Iranian ballistic missile plan. NATO officials had even stated recently that their proposed European missile defence shield is primarily targeted against the Medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) of Iran, such as the Sejjil and Ashoura. According to the IISS, Iranian authorities might find it difficult to obtain large solid-propellant rocket motors and rocket fuel, which are among the integral components of the missile. Western experts claim that the defence industry in Iran is not that advanced to produce these components locally.
The Iranian MRBMs use both solid and liquid propellants. Missiles like Sejjil and Ashoura uses the solid-propellant system, while the Fajr-3 operates on a liquid propellant engine. MRBMs like Shahab-3 and Ghadr-110 uses a hybrid propellant system, using both the solid and liquid propellants. Almost all of the Iranian missiles developed during the 1980s and 1990s used the liquid propellants, like the Shahab-1 and 2. However, the limitations of the liquid propellant engine forced the Iranian authorities to seriously consider the solid propellant engines during the beginning of this century.
According to the UN Security Council Resolution 1929, Iran is forbidden from developing ballistic missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. But Iran has ignored this measure, and has tried to build its own version of the long range and medium range ballistic missiles, importing some of the components from China. Iran depends on China not only for the rocket motors, but also for the solid propellant fuel, the manufacturing of which is very complex.