How serious are Iran’s threats?

USS Scout in the Strait of Hormuz; US DoD photoIISS’s Michael Elleman has just been interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman at, who writes that: ‘Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Washington in the strategic Strait of Hormuz following increased sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program. Iran test-fired missiles and has threatened to close the strait.  This is to signal to the United States and its neighbors in the region that Iran has a deterrent capacity, says Michael Elleman, a leading expert on Iran’s missile development. The threats are also aimed at bolstering leadership domestically, he adds. Elleman says while there has been no evidence since 2003 of Iran developing a nuclear weapons program:  ‘Iran certainly is making tremendous headway in developing a range of ballistic missiles that could threaten the cities throughout the Gulf and in Israel.”

Read the full interview at the Council on Foreign Relations


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