Add Advertisement

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 
Previous
Profile
Next
Profile

Iran's Military Power: What You Need to Know

05/13/2018
Iran's Military Power: What You Need to Know

Iran may suffer from military disadvantages, but that doesn't stop it from being a major military player in the Middle East. DW breaks down Iran's military strengths and three parts of its asymmetric defense strategy. 

Iran is a major military power in the Middle East, with an estimated 534,000 active personnel in the army, navy, air force and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

Global Firepower Index, an online military ranking website, ranks Iran No. 13 in the world out of 136 countries. Their listing is based on more than 50 factors including war-making potential in conventional (non-nuclear) forces, manpower, geography and finance. To compare to other regional powers, Turkey ranks ninth, Egypt 12th, Israel 16th and Saudi Arabia 26th. 

Iran's population of 82 million means that it can draw on a deep well of manpower. This is a key factor in sustaining long wars of attrition such as the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. 

However, at $16 billion (€13.4 billion) in 2017, Iran's defense budget falls short of individual regional rivals and is minuscule in comparison to the combined defense spending of countries it is most likely to come into conflict with: Israel's $18.5 billion (plus $3.5 billion in military aid from the US); Saudi Arabia's $76.7 billion; and the United States' nearly $600 billion. 

Asymmetric strategy answer to disadvantages 

Shiite Iran is outgunned financially by those it perceives to be its main military threats — the United States, Israel and Sunni Gulf Arab states. It also nearly encircled by United States military bases and lacks the security guarantees its regional Gulf Arab rivals and Israel receive from the United States. 

In addition, Iran has been under a four-decade-long US arms embargo and UN arms restrictions since 2006. This has forced Iran to rely largely on the domestic production of weaponry. Meanwhile, Iran's regional rivals are provided cutting-edge Western military systems. 

In order to compensate for its relative weakness, Tehran relies on asymmetric capabilities and cost-raising deterrence measures. 

Forward defense 

One plank of Iran's defense strategy is "forward defense," led by the special operations Quds Force of the IRGC. The strategy involves the use of regional allies and proxies, known as the "axis of resistance," as leverage to weaken, bog down, deter or fight Iran's enemies away from its soil. 

Such groups include the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq fighting the "Islamic State"; foreign Shiite militias fighting on behalf of Iran's ally Syria; the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah; Houthi rebels in Yemen; and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Iran is also one of several regional countries exerting influence on the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Although aligned with Iran politically and militarily, these groups have to varying degrees their own agency and local political interests where they operate. 

Date: 
05/13/2018
Sources of Information: 

Deutsche Welle German Radio

Publish News & Press-Releases, Company Profile, Products and Services on ARMSCOM.net. Email to armscom.net@gmail.com.