The first ever footage of the Sejjil medium-range rocket designed to carry a nuclear warhead was shown on Iranian media this week. The 59-foot tall rocket was shown in its underground bunker along with trials. Tehran has hitherto kept this rocket and its attributes closely secret. Western intelligence experts estimate that the Sejjil has a range of 2,000-2,500km. It is powered with solid fuel in contrast to the other rockets in Iran’s war arsenal and can be launched from any angle whereas the Shehab series take off vertically. Iran can therefore fire the Sejjil at short notice for surprise attacks since its launch preparations take place underground and are hard to discover or disrupt.
DEBKAfile adds: The newly shown rocket is Iran’s first wholly designed and manufactured home produced missile; none of its components were borrowed or bought from Russia, China or North Korea, like the earlier generations of projectiles stockpiled by the Islamic Republic. Sejjil is 18.2m long and can carry a payload of 500-1,500 kgs of explosives. Its targeting margin of error is 20m; and its warhead is designed to penetrate the layers of armor protecting anti-missile missile systems. Tehran offered no explanation as to why this footage was released at this time.