Iran Arms Revolutionary Guards with Long-Range Missile Launchers

News Brief — May 26, 2013

Iran has reportedly equipped its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC AF) with large numbers of long-range surface-to surface missile launchers.
Although the actual range and type of missiles fired from the launchers wasn’t specified, the fact that the missile launchers are mobile means that should Iran be attacked, US bases in the region and Israel would likely be hit in retaliatory strikes by missiles fired from the launchers.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said during Sunday’s handover ceremony that the missile launchers had been jointly developed by the country’s Defense Ministry and the Aerospace Division of IRGC.
Vahidi emphasised moreover that the missile launchers were merely part of the country’s wider defensive capabilities used to safeguard peace.
“Today, the Defense Ministry, with the key strategy of self-confidence, hard work and self-sufficiency, designs and manufactures different weapons and military systems in aerospace, naval, aerial, ground, electronic and optic fields,” the Iranian minister said.
“Iran does not want war with any country and will not be the initiator of any war or conflict, but will also not allow any aggression or hostile act [against the country],” he continued.
The Islamic Republic will give a crushing response to any act of aggression by enemies, making them regret their actions, the minister added.
Over the past two decades, Iran has made important breakthroughs in its defence sector and attained self-sufficiency in developing and producing key weapons and military systems.
Apart from developing a wide range of surface-to-surface missiles, ground-to-air and anti-ship missiles, Iran has also launched its own naval frigates, submarines, fighter jets and long range radar systems.
While developing these weapons, Iran has repeatedly assured its neighbours that its military power poses no threat to them. Insisting rather that its military doctrine is solely based on defence and that the weapons displayed were primarily to deter potential aggressors.
He may have a point. There is absolutely no comparison between Iran’s current defensive capabilities and Iraq’s in 2003. During that time Iran has steadily developed its military-industrial capacity as the Western military threat has loomed closer from the waters of the gulf and military bases in Afghanistan and the Persian gulf states.
Had Iran not developed into a self-sufficient and reasonably advanced military power in its own right, it may well have gone the same way as Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact that it hasn’t is in large part due to its having developed the capability to produce weapons systems like the missile launchers handed over in Sunday’s ceremony.
However, how much longer that deterrence factor remains viable is open to question.
Israel is still eager to see military action against Iran, preferably led by the U.S. But while Washington seems hesitant about direct military confrontation — as opposed to economic sanctions and a covert campaign through proxy ‘Syrian rebels’ to overthrow Iran’s closest regional ally — that could change overnight.
It would only take one false flag to change that and as we’ve seen recently in Boston and Woolwich, hidden powers are all too ready to launch such an operation when it’s least expected.

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