Head of the Strategic Center of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces and former Iranian defense minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, stated that Iran’s missile capabilities have proven to be an effective deterrent in several Israeli wars against Gaza and Lebanon. He then said,
“[Iran is] among the top five countries which have developed the precision-guided missile capabilities [and] without missile power, we could never put a satellite into orbit.”
The general then touched on the threats and rhetoric of war against Iran, stressing that in case of any military encounter, it will be Iran that determines the location of the battlefield. He emphasized that Iran showed restraint when a host of “reactionary regional states” allied themselves with Iraq and offered widespread support for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in an imposed war against Tehran in the 1980s, but stressed that it is not clear if the Islamic Republic would exercise the same degree of restraint and confine a possible war to a single battlefield if any such thing happens again.
Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations. Bolstering this position is Mohsen Rafiqdoost, the former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps minister, who asserted,
“We outdo some major world countries not only in the missile technology, but also in the sphere of armored weaponry, drones, submarines, and all parts of the military industry.”
Tehran has made it clear time and again that its military might poses no threat to regional countries and that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence. According to the website, Global Firepower, Iran is ranked 21st overall in combined military power world rankings and a comparison of the United States to Iran shows vast differences with Iran only outnumbering the United States in a few military-related items (here’s a comparison of Israel to Iran).
With Iran securing its nuclear deal and the benefits that it is bringing, especially on an economic scale, there is no doubt that Iran will continue to build its military might in weapons and munitions while continuing to test the waters of the nuclear agreement rules. Is Iran becoming more of a threat to the United States and her allies or is it advancing its military for defense purposes only? Sound off in the comments below.