Why Iran Wants Naval Bases in Syria and Yemen

(Foreign Affairs) Yoel Guzansky - In November, Iran announced it was planning to build naval bases in Syria and Yemen which, as a state-run paper later posited, "could be ten times more efficient than nuclear power." Yemen sits on the strategic shipping route of the Bab el Mandeb Strait, one of the world's most heavily trafficked waterways, and a naval outpost there would put it in a more advantageous position to threaten its main regional rival, Saudi Arabia. A base in Yemen would also enable Iran to better support the Houthi rebels. A Saudi-led blockade on Yemen has prevented Iran from accessing Yemen's shores. A base in Syria would stretch Iran's naval arm to the Mediterranean and enable Iran to transport regular supplies to Hizbullah without being dependent on overland convoys or aerial transport through Iraq or Turkey. The writer is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

2017-01-03 00:00:00

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