Iran Speaks More Softly But Keeps Building Bigger Sticks

(Bloomberg) Tony Capaccio - While Iran's military has toned down its rhetoric about military capabilities and exercises, it continues a low-profile buildup of weapons in and near the Strait of Hormuz, according to a classified Pentagon assessment. "Of note, Tehran's strategic messaging about its military capabilities through the mass media has been less strident since Rouhani took over," it said. "Widespread publicity of major military exercises, previously the norm, has been minimal." The new assessment says, "Tehran is quietly fielding" increasing numbers of anti-ship ballistic missiles, "small but capable submarines," coastal missile batteries and attack craft. Separately, Iran possesses "a substantial inventory of missiles capable of reaching targets throughout the region, including Israel." In addition, "Iran's covert activities appear to be continuing unabated in countries such as Syria and Iraq. Despite Iran's public denials, for example, other information suggests Iran is increasingly involved, along with Lebanese Hizbullah, in the Syria conflict." "The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) remains a key tool of Iran's foreign policy and power projection, in Syria and beyond," it continues. "IRGC-QF has continued efforts to improve its access within foreign countries and its ability to conduct terrorist attacks."

2014-08-22 00:00:00

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