What Iran’s Bluster Hides


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According to the Global Fire Power website, which uses CIA data, Iranian military strength is hardly as ominous as it appears from Iranian propaganda press releases.

Iranian active military strength stands at 545,000 troops, and its reserve forces number 650,000. And while its population total is over 77 million compared to Israel’s 7 million (less than 10% of Iran’s), Israel’s defense budget is greater – $16 billion vs. Iran’s $9 billion. And while Israel’s military manpower stands at 187,000 in active duty, and 565,000 in reserves, it is far better trained and motivated.  Moreover, Iran has 3,230 tanks against Iran’s 1,793, and 1,964 aircraft vs. Iran’s 1,030.  The Iranian air force is rather weakened by its older model fighters, such as the F-5, which the Shah received from the U.S. and which lacks spare parts.  The same is true for their tanks, which rely on the Russian T-72, and older model tanks.  Regardless of the size of the Iranian army infantry or its armor, it is highly unlikely that Iran will be able to move those against Israel, giving the distances involved.

To compensate for its inability to compete with either the U.S or Israeli air forces, Iran developed a missile industry, producing missiles that allegedly could hit all points in Israel (while stockpiling nearly 45,000 missiles with Hezbollah in Lebanon).  Israel’s civilian population has demonstrated, during recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza (2006 with Hezbollah and 2008-2009 with Hamas) that it can withstand massive missile attacks on its cities.  Moreover, Israel has advanced and put into operation anti-missile missiles, such as the “Arrow” and “Iron Dome,” which the Iranians lack.  Conversely, the Iranian civilian population was traumatized by the eight-year war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq (1980-1988) during which Saddam’s army lobbed Scud missiles on Iranian cities that killed thousands.  The regime in Iran failed to build air-raid shelters then, and have done little to lessen the vulnerability of Iran’s civilians today.  An Israeli or American retaliatory attack on Iran would expose Iran’s civilian populations to death and destruction and cause the public to rebel against the mullah regime, a possibility the leaders of the Islamic republic must take into account.

Belligerent proclamations against Israel and threats to “wipe the Jewish State off the map” conform to the best in psychological welfare — something which the Iranian regime excels at. You-Tube videos show supposedly successful launchings of long-range missiles and a new submarine, all aimed to deter Israel and the U.S. from attacking Iran.  The Financial Times, reporting from Iran on August 20, 2010, quoted Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defense minister, as saying that “the Qiam 1 surface-to-surface missile” had “new technical features and unique tactical capabilities, and an improved targeting system.” The underlying message from Tehran is that “we have a strong military and if you attack us, we’ll destroy you.”  Intimidation by threats is, when carefully analyzed, an attempt to ward off an attack by those they know to be stronger while masking their weakness. Yet, Israel and the West take Iranian propaganda at face value, and thus Iran appears a lot stronger than it is in reality.

The Iranian army has been significantly repressed by the mullahs.  The top military echelon was decimated by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and those who escaped death, torture, and forced “reorientation” escaped to the West.  The role of the theocratic regime’s Revolutionary Guards is to keep an eye on the army’s generals.  Advancement is reserved only for those who show loyalty to the regime.  Personal initiative is seen as dangerous by officers and soldiers alike.  On July 2009, 36 officers who intended to participate in demonstrations against the regime in their uniforms were arrested, and most likely liquidated.  The Guardian newspaper reported, “The officers intended the gesture to show solidarity with the demonstrations against last month’s presidential election result, which was won by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but which has been clouded by allegations of mass fraud.”

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  • ghh

    YES JOSEPH PUDER, and i bet when the war breaks out, you and your zionist buddies are going to be on the front lines "liberating" thos iranians.

    • Tom

      Suppose the Iranians really do have nuclear? Probably best to leave them alone, and concentrate on stealing the water from Lebanon.

  • salman

    You article is a pile of junk that makes no sense:"Moreover, Iran has 3230 tanks against Iran’s 1793…" wtf?

  • Amused

    Yea I saw those obvious typos , but at the end of the day Israel , if threatened to a cetain degree , will beat Iran's arse to a pulp . And as far as "liberating " Iranians …..if that's what they want , then let'em do it themselves , just like their last revolution .

  • JOSH

    I STILL LIKED THIS ARTICLE AS IT IS MOSTLY TRUE, BUT THE THINGS LEFT OUT WHICH IS JUST AS IMPOTANT IF NOT MORE IS THAT 1. ISRAEL DOES NOT NEED MUCH BOMBING OR MISSILES TO HIT IT TO BE BADLY DISTROYED EVENTHOUGH WITH COMBINED FORCE OF AMERICA, BRITON, FRANCE, ISRAEL AND SOME ARAB COUNTRIES LIKE SAUDIS AND OTHERS THEY CAN EASILY BRING DOWN THE MULAHS IN IRAN FOR EVER, BUT THE PROBLEM WITH WAR IS THAT ONCE IT STARTS YOU NEVER KNOW HOW IT ENDS AS IT HAS MANY UNEXPECTED RESULT THAT MAKES SUPERFICIAL WIN IN TO REAL BAD LOSS…..LOOK AT OUR WARS, VIET NAM, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, NOW PAKISTAN, YEMEN, SOMALIA, LYBIA….AND LOOK AT THE COST IT HAS HAD ON OUR ECONOMY,,,,,HAS IT WORTH IT?????????

  • robert

    Iran beat Israel fair and square, In Lebanon without support of an air force. Israel threw all its might at last battle including their supposedly the best trained air force in the world. It couldn't even capture an inch of Lebanon. Israel and its army, navy and air force got their nose bloody with a rag tag guys who were trained by Iranians. It is best not to under estimate your enemy. Israeli are used too target practicing with Palestine women and children, when they met real fighters they crapped in their pants, and that's no lie.

    • George Planktont

      HAHAHA!!!
      Israel Didn't want to capture Lebanon (if they were trying to do so, it wouldn't be a near problem for them)… And as far as I know; Nasrallah is still hiding in a bunker ever since… And the funny part is that he claims for a victory… Very funny…
      :))))
      But it is so very typical… 1 Israeli soldier for more than 1000 murderers…. "we win"… as they claim… Funny…
      Do people really believe Iranians and their delegates?

    • UCSPanther

      Maybe you should lay off the propaganda. When Iran's army meets the IDF or the US army on the fields of battle, they will learn the hard way of how weak they truly are.

      They have the same arrogance that Gamal Nasser's UAR alliance had before 1967, and they have the same propaganda-fueled alliance that North Korea's army has right now.

  • Sobh

    The opening paragraph clearly demonstrates which country in the middle east is spending too much per capita on its military, thus being a threat to its neighbors.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Isn't amazing how much destruction and Islamist incursion Iran has caused in
    the world, how it is under the control of Mullahs who are locked in with the
    Muslim Brotherhood. Governments worldwide are compromised by these
    people and at the right time movement will take place for Islamist supremacy
    in all of Europe and elsewhere. The Arab Spring is housecleaning by the
    Brotherhood to bring all governments into line and prepare for a Muslim World.
    Turkey and Egypt and Russia are on Iran's side, America's traditional allys
    are slipping into Islamist paralysis………..Bluster is not all that there is, there
    is a real threat to World peace with millions upon millions of willing martyrs
    waiting for direction. Destroying a few of the killers has not detered the vast
    majority that are in play under hundreds of names, all fronts for the Muslim
    Brotherhood………………………Will someone stand up and end this insanity?
    William

  • maturin20

    What a relief. We can all stop worrying.

  • UCSPanther

    It appears that Iran's strength is the same as North Korea's: A propaganda-created mirage of strength that they do not have.

    Anyone who claims that the ME is uniting against Israel at this point is delusional. One only needs to look at Syria to see that the days of Gamal Nasser's UAR alliance is long gone.

  • benny

    israel is a civilized country and does not deliver empty threats,but make no mistake if provoked r they are well prepared and the consequences will be terrible for iran as well as others who attack Israel

  • Jeff martin

    Iran surely realizes that it will be an EMP attack that will leave them without power,internet capability or even automobiles. The only injuries will be people stuck in elevators or in aircraft in the EMP zone. If Iran does not get this picture..Israel will draw one for them.