Friday, September 9, 2016

Iran's Military Might Be Getting Ready to Make Some Sweeping Changes

On September 1, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said something quite remarkable. In a speech at an Iranian military expo, the ayatollah stated that the development of Iran’s “defensive and offensive capabilities” is an “inalienable and clear right,” comments subsequently echoed by important clerics and major state media outlets. Iranian leaders almost always describe their military as strictly “defensive” as a point of moral and political pride. The word “offensive” is rarely, if ever, used by Tehran when discussing its armed forces.
The United States and its allies are constantly worried about the threat from terrorism and destabilization from the growing power of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) proxies or even potential escalation in the Persian Gulf from aggressive IRGC small boats, so it is sometimes difficult to imagine calling the Iranian military a defensive one. But the Pentagon classifiesTehran’s military doctrine as primarily defensive, and with good reason. The Iranian military does not generally possess the type of weapons or doctrine to successfully execute a campaign to seize and hold foreign territory or destroy and adversary’s critical military assets or infrastructure. Iran, to be blunt, does not have a ‘normal’ army, air force, or navy that could achieve those types of objectives the way the United States, Israel, Turkey, or Pakistan do. READ MORE