Does Iran's Latest Military Exercise Signal a New Defense Doctrine?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall - Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is in the midst of a large-scale missile exercise called "Great Prophet 6." In a wide-ranging interview aimed at Arab audiences on the Arabic-language TV channel Al-Alam, Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hagizadeh discussed at length the IRGC exercise and its objectives. The extensive interview with Hagizadeh suggests that Iran is devoting much thought to its deterrence doctrine against those it regards as its main threats in the region, namely, Israel and the U.S. He said the U.S. had made things easier for Iran by building 40-50 bases at a distance of 200-300 km. from Iran, so Iran does not need to build missiles with a range longer than 2,000 km. (which covers Israel and part of Europe). The air force commander referred directly to regions where Iran is already implementing its asymmetric operational strategy regarding the use of surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) of different ranges. He went on to imply that Iran has good intelligence-gathering capabilities for Israel because, using radar, it can detect the departure of Israeli planes at the moment of take-off from the "Palestinian territories" (meaning Israel). Responding to a question about how many missiles Iran has and their deployment areas, Hagizadeh noted that since this information is classified he will answer indirectly. He then said that during the Second Lebanon War (the "Thirty-Three Day War"), Hizbullah kept firing missiles throughout the conflict and, unlike in usual circumstances where the ability to fire decreases with time, Hizbullah in fact increased its rate of fire and even the range of the missiles, while Israel failed to destroy the organization's weapons caches. It is evident that Hagizadeh views Lebanon as a forward missile base for Iran.

2011-07-06 00:00:00

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