Tag Archives: Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran

khartoum allowing Iran to establish military base

Sudanese rebel groups say Khartoum reaching secret agreement with Tehran to establish an Iranian military base.

via \’Khartoum allowing Iran to estab… JPost – Iranian Threat – News.

Sudanese opposition groups accused Khartoum this week of reaching a secret agreement with Tehran to establish an Iranian military base on the Red Sea.

Anti-government newspaper Hurriyat Sudan cited an unnamed opposition source on Monday as saying that the Sudanese government had struck a deal with Iran for building a base on the Sudanese coast.

Meanwhile, Sudanese rebel group The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that Sudan’s President Omar Bashir has reached a “very advanced” arrangement with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to establish a naval base either in Port Sudan or elsewhere on the Red Sea, according to the Sudanese anti-government news outlet Al Rakoba.

The accusations came after two Iranian naval vessels, the 1,400-ton frigate Jamaran and the 4,700-ton support ship Bushehr, docked in Port Sudan on Saturday morning.

Mahjoub Hussein, a spokesman for the Justice and Equality Movement, said that the visit of the Iranian warships, the second in recent months, was not intended as a message to Israel but rather to test regional opinion regarding the establishment of an Iranian military base.

According to reports in the Sudanese press, Sudan’s army spokesperson Colonel Al- Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad said on Friday that the visit by the Iranian military vessels is part of a “military exchange” with Iran. The ships are scheduled to stay for three days, during which they will be open for view by the public.

Iran has continued to push an aggressive naval strategy, which includes expanding its weapons systems and warships – including the Jamaran, a domestically-produced Mowj-class guided missile frigate first launched at Bandar Abbas in 2010. The ship combines anti-submarine assets, including a close-in anti-submarine torpedo system as well as surface-to-surface and surface- to-air assets.

The Iranian Navy has also extended its reach throughout the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb strait in the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca.

By extending its naval presence as far as Sudan and the Red Sea, Iran would gain several advantages, including in regards to combating Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden but also in gaining control over the Red Sea shipping route, part of the channel through which Iran ships arms to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. An Iranian naval presence in Port Sudan would also upset Iran’s Sunni rival Saudi Arabia, located just across the Red Sea.

For its part, Sudan has long courted deeper ties with Iran, with whom it signed a military cooperation agreement in March 2008.

Bashir has made several visits to Iran, the last in August when Tehran hosted the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Bashir has held onto power for 23 years following a bloodless coup in 1999, but is increasingly under threat, as Sudan struggles to overcome a $38 billion debt, particularly after the secession of oil-rich South Sudan last year and the renewal of US economic sanctions last month.

Last month, Khartoum said it foiled a coup against Bashir masterminded by the former head of intelligence, Salah Gosh.

Meanwhile, Sudan’s army, overstretched as it fights insurgents in its South Kordofan and Blue Nile border regions, has been accused of looking to Iran for military assistance.

In March, anti-government rebels accused Iran of sending members of its IRGC to boost government forces. Tehran denied the claims.

While Bashir is keen to show the world his country is moving closer to Tehran, there are rifts within Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party about the risks posed by the country’s bilateral ties with the Islamic Republic.

In November, Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti criticized the government for allowing Iranian warships to dock in Port Sudan, saying that he had not been consulted over the matter.

Iran previously dispatched warships to Port Sudan at the end of October, days after Khartoum accused Israel of carrying out an air strike against a munitions factory in the Sudanese capital. Jerusalem has neither confirmed nor denied striking the Yarmouk complex but officials have repeated accusations that Sudan and Iran are coordinating to smuggle arms to the Gaza Strip via Egypt.

In response to the air strike, Bashir threatened to work toward acquiring “advanced weaponry” to counter “repeated Israeli attacks.”

Echoing Tehran’s terminology and rhetoric, the Sudanese leader said that Israel was “the Zionist enemy and Israel will remain the enemy,” Sudanese news sources reported.

On Monday, opposition sources in Sudan again accused Khartoum of turning Sudan into an arena for Israel’s conflict with Iran.

Sudanese opposition group JEM also noted that the Iranian military vessels’ visit to Port Sudan risked upsetting the country’s delicate relationship with Gulf states, on whom it relies for aid. Karti has also said that Arab Gulf states are not happy about Khartoum’s ties with Tehran, and could deny aid.

According to a September report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Saudi Arabia pledged $240 million to Khartoum in the form of infrastructure loans over the last 18 months. However, so far only $80 million have been disbursed.


Second US drone shot down by Iran over Persian Gulf

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV said Tuesday that the country’s Revolutionary Guard has captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

The report quoted the Guard’s navy chief, Gen. Ali Fadavi, as saying that the Iranian forces caught the “intruding” drone, which had apparently taken off from a U.S. aircraft carrier.

Fadavi said the unmanned Scan Eagle aircraft was now in Iran’s possession.


“The U.S. drone, which was conducting a reconnaissance flight and gathering data over the Persian Gulf in the past few days, was captured by the Guard’s navy air defense unit as soon as it entered Iranian airspace,” Fadavi said. “Such drones usually take off from large warships.”

He didn’t provide any further details nor said when the incident happened. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain.

If true, the seizure of the drone would be the third reported incident involving Iran and U.S. drones in the past two years.

Last month, Iran claimed that a U.S. drone had violated its airspace. Pentagon said the unmanned aircraft came under fire — at least twice but was not hit — and that the Predator was over international waters.

The Nov. 1 shooting in the Gulf was unprecedented, and further escalated tensions between the United States and Iran, which is under international sanctions over its suspect nuclear program. Tehran denies it’s pursuing a nuclear weapon and insists its program is for peaceful purposes only.

In 2011, Iran claimed it brought down a CIA spy drone after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which is equipped with stealth technology, was captured almost intact. Tehran later said it recovered data from the top-secret drone.

In the case of the Sentinel, after initially saying only that a drone had been lost near the Afghan-Iran border, American officials eventually confirmed the plane was monitoring Iran’s military and nuclear facilities. Washington asked for it back but Iran refused, and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.

Iran and the Gulf Military Balance – I: The Conventional and Asymmetric Dimensions

By Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner

Jun 25, 2012


In the wake of recent failed negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, it seems increasingly unlikely that a political solution will be reached regarding Tehran’s increasing uranium enrichment. As a result, some form of military clash between the US and Iran, while by no means certain, is becoming increasingly likely. Such a clash can take many different forms, and each presents different levels of risk.

Although many reports and analyses tend to focus on Iran’s missile forces and burgeoning nuclear capability, Iran’s steady build-up of asymmetric forces presents a threat to both Gulf commerce and the military forces of both the US and its regional allies, at least in the opening stages of a conflict. Unlike Iran’s missile forces, these forces are difficult to detect and counter, and can be used with a degree of deniability to harass or disrupt military operations and commerce in the Gulf.

The Burke Chair at CSIS has substantially updated and expanded its analysis of Iranian military forces to reflect recent events, as well as comments on the previous draft. Moreover, unlike previous versions, this analysis includes extensive reporting on arms transfers to the US’ Gulf allies in the last decade, which have had a significant impact on the balance of forces in the Gulf. The first part of this analysis is entitled “Iran and the Gulf Military Balance I: The Conventional and Asymmetric Dimensions.” It is available on the CSIS web site at: https://csis.org/files/publication/120612_Burke_IRan_Gulf_Military_Balance.pdf

Introduction    5

The Historical Background    5

Current Patterns in the Structure of US and Iranian Military Competition    13

Differing National Perspectives    17

Key Uncertainties in Assessing the Details of US and Iranian Military Competition    27

Competition in Conventional Military Forces    29

Ground-Based Air Defenses    43

Iran’s Largely Defensive Land Forces    47

Iran’s Naval Forces and Their Role in Asymmetric Warfare    51

Measuring the Overall Balance of US and Iranian Military Competition    63

Competition in Asymmetric Forces    67

Iran’s Growing Asymmetric Forces    67

Conventional Weakness vs. Asymmetric Capability    70

Iran’s Growing Mix of Asymmetric Warfare Forces    71

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)    74

The MISIRI, MOIS, or Vevak    93

Other Asymmetric Forces    96

 “Closing the Gulf:” Iran’s Real World Military Options for Asymmetric Warfare    102

The Potential  Strategic, Energy, and Global Economic Impacts of the Iranian Threat    104

Iran’s Growing Military Assets for Such a Mission    110

Iran’s Submarines and Submersibles    110

Iran’s Bases and Other Assets for “Closing the Gulf”    114

US and Arab Gulf Options for Competing with Iranian    128

US Forces in the Gulf    128

The US Partnership With Southern Gulf, Other Regional, British, and French forces    131

Changing the Ground Rules: What If Preventive Strikes – Not Sanctions – Trigger Iranian Efforts to Close the Gulf    173

Implications for US Policy    174

The second volume of this analysis is entitled Iran and the Gulf Military Balance II: The Missile and Nuclear Dimensions.  It is available on the CSIS web site at: 
http://csis.org/files/publication/120222_Iran_Gulf_Mil_Bal_II_WMD.pdf . Both reports are working drafts of chapters in a comprehensive survey of US and Iranian competition made possible through the funding of the Smith Richardson Foundation, and which are to be published as an electronic book in early March.  Comments and suggestions would be most helpful. They should be sent to Anthony H. Cordesman at acordesman@gmail.com.

Below you will find each chapter on the CSIS website. Select the chapter title to download the PDF.  The complete book is available below to be read in 2 parts.

  1. Introduction (http://csis.org/files/publication/120315_ch_1_iran.pdf)
  2. Types and Levels of Competition (http://csis.org/files/publication/120315_iran_ch2.pdf)- This chapter looks at the various arenas in which Iran and the U.S. compete for influence.
  3. US and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Conventional and Asymmetric Dimensions (http://csis.org/files/publication/120221_Iran_Gulf_MilBal_ConvAsym.pdf) – This chapter looks at Iran’s Military forces in detail, and the balance of forces in the Gulf Region.
  4. US and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Missile and Nuclear (http://csis.org/files/publication/120222_Iran_Gulf_Mil_Bal_II_WMD.pdf) – This chapter looks at Iran’s Missile and Nuclear forces.
  5. U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Sanctions game: Energy, Arms Control, and Regime Change (http://csis.org/files/publication/120124_Iran_Sanctions.pdf) – This chapter examines the impact of sanctions on the Iranian regime, Iran’s energy sector, and the prospects for regime change in Tehran.
  6. US and Iranian Strategic Competition in the Gulf States and Yemen (http://csis.org/files/publication/120228_Iran_Ch_VI_Gulf_State.pdf) – This chapter examines the competition between the US, and Iran and how it affects Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman and Qatar.
  7. The Outcome of Invasion: US and Iranian Strategic Competition in Iraq (csis.org/files/publication/120308_Combined_Iraq_Chapter.pdf) – This chapter examines in detail the role Iran has played in Iraq since 2003, and how the US has tried to counter it.
  8. U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Proxy Cold War in the Levant, Egypt and Jordan (http://csis.org/files/publication/120312_Iran_VIII_Levant.pdf) – This chapter examines US and Iranian interests in the Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Syria.  The military balance is also analyzed.
  9. The United States and Iran: Competition involving Turkey and the South Caucasus (http://csis.org/files/publication/120309_Iran_Chapter_VIII_Turkey_Caspia…) – This chapter analyzes the US and Iranian competition over influence in Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
  10. Competition in Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Pakistan (http://csis.org/files/publication/120312_Iran_Chapter_X_AfPakCentAsia_AH…)  – This chapter examines the important role Iran plays in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, and how the US and Iranian rivalry affects Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia.
  11. U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: The Impact of China and Russia (http://csis.org/files/publication/REPORT_Iran_Chapter_X_China_and_Russia…) – This chapter examines the complex and evolving relationships between China, Russia, Iran and the US.
  12. U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: Competition Involving the EU, EU3, and non-EU European States (http://csis.org/files/publication/120305_Iran_Chapter_XI_Europe.pdf) – This chapter looks at the role the EU, and in particular the EU3, have played as the U.S.’s closest allies in its competition with Iran.
  13. U.S. and Iranian Strategic Competition: Peripheral Competition Involving Latin America and Africa (http://csis.org/files/publication/120404_Iran_Chapter_XIII-Peripheral_St…) – This chapter examines the extent and importance of the competition between the US and Iran in the rest of the world.
  14. Policy Implications