Despite continuing progress on its nuclear program, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program is facing a significant setback, says a report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).
According to the 66-page report, intelligence suggests that Iran is falling behind in critical aspects of the development of its ICBM program such as successful flight tests.
“It is increasingly uncertain whether Iran will be able to achieve an ICBM capability by 2015,” the CRS report said, according to Reuters.
In particular, the report noted that Iran is receiving substantially less financial support from Russia and China. Western countries have long been critical of Russian and Chinese support for Iran, as those countries have previously stymied efforts in the UN to enact stricter sanctions.
Iran’s ICBM program is a critical component of its overall nuclear strategy. In 2009, Iran began testing its Sajjil-2 solid fuel missile, which analysts feared could be used as a delivery vehicle for a future nuclear warhead.
The U.S. and Israel have been spending billions of dollars on the development of advanced missile defense systems due to the Iranian threat.