How good is the Iranian air defense

Iran's military options

Iran is arming and preparing for a setback

According to a confidential report from the Federal and Customs Criminal Police Office, Iran is currently working intensively on building NBC weapons. In addition, there would be evidence of a secret nuclear program. Assumptions that shouldn't really surprise anyone. With the new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Islamic revolutionary rules who is impressed by threats from the USA and least of all by Israel (A question of good and bad, God and the devil). During protests against the Mohammed caricatures, which primarily express the conflict between the conflict between Arab and Western countries and, in Iran, of course, also that of the nuclear facilities, the German embassy was also the target for the first time in Tehran yesterday. However, it was only a small group that, despite the police cordon, pelted the building with stones and fireworks.

A week ago, the Iranian Defense Minister, Mustafa Mohammed Najjar, warned all countries considering an attack on Iran. “Our armed forces will fight back quickly and with great devastation.” At first glance, this is reminiscent of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein. They had all warned the United States and its allies in a big way against an attack on their country. In the end, it turned out to be megalomania. With Iran, however, things are likely to be different.

Until the fall of the Shah regime, Iran was the fourth largest military power in the world. There is little left of it today, but the Iranian armed forces are one of the strongest in the region.

In the first Gulf War against Iraq from 1980 to 1988, most of the then modern military equipment was destroyed and worn out. Of the old stock, only the Luftwaffe is left, an estimated 300 fighter planes, most of them US phantom planes. There are also around 100 aircraft from Iraq, which were stored in Iran before the second Gulf War for fear of destruction and were never returned. This arsenal has increased aircraft purchases from Ukraine and Russia in recent years.

Even so, all of this together would not be enough to prevent attacks by the Israeli or US military. The Iranian Defense Minister rightly said that "the top priority of defense is strengthening the air force". He was probably referring more to an overall concept of air defense, because without a sophisticated advance warning system with defense missiles, combat pilots can do little alone in a surprise attack.

Russia and China are arms suppliers

Today's Iranian air defense is structurally at the level of 1979. After the Islamic Revolution, the delivery of AWACS was canceled by the US government. Air defense today is based on Russian SAM, Chinese SA missiles and some old US hawks. But in December last year, a contract was signed with Russia providing for the delivery of 30 new TOR M-1 anti-missile missiles. For one billion dollars, Iran can get a missile defense system that protects its nuclear research facilities from a maximum of 48 approaching aircraft or projectiles up to a distance of six kilometers. S-300 missiles, which are also to be supplied by Russia, will offer even greater protection, have a range of 150 kilometers and can even shoot down enemy supply aircraft at high altitudes.

It is rumored that such missiles had already been delivered and installed in February 2001. "These arms deliveries," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, "do not change the strategic balance in the slightest, as they are only used for defense." According to an agreement with the USA in 1995, Russia should not actually sell arms to Tehran. But the oil price hike in 2002 made Iran a potent customer that promised high sales. In addition, only about 10% of the air defense system has to be newly produced, the rest comes from old Soviet stocks.

In addition to Russia, Iran is also supplied with weapons by the People's Republic of China. In addition to the delivery of various ground missiles, such as the Feimeng 80, Chinese companies are said to have modernized Iran's entire radar system. With radars that can locate targets up to 300 kilometers away.

The strategic equilibrium is actually not endangered with this armament, as the Russian Foreign Minister said, only "preventive attacks" by the US and Israel will turn into difficult operations. It will certainly not be as easy as 1981, when the Israelis almost destroyed the Iraqi reactor in Osiraq while walking. The nuclear facilities in Iran are scattered all over the country, and it is not even known how many there are. All important systems are underground. The US has supplied Israel with new bunker bombs (strategic upgrade), but no one can say with certainty whether their destructive power is sufficient.

In December, the Iranian military carried out one of their largest maneuvers in the Indian Ocean. Their three submarines were tested, the cooperation of warships and fighter planes coordinated and exercises on the use of their medium-range missiles were carried out, of which one does not know exactly what range they have. What is certain is that the “Shahab” model can reach Israel and some US bases in the region.

Disagreement over military mobilization

A dispute has begun in Iran over military mobilization. There is a faction within the Republican Guards that wants to avoid confrontation. Only President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his purist veterans of the Islamic revolution held decisive positions in the power structure. They even consider Iran's “preventive attacks”. Including Mohammed Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, the presidents' spiritual mentor. The ultra-radical cleric is in the process of setting up suicide brigades across the country, divided by region. They are trained to be weapons in training camps.

We should simultaneously carry out hundreds of suicide bombings and launch hundreds of rockets into Israel and the US bases in Qatar, Iraq and various economic targets in the region. So we would paralyze the American troops.

As apocalyptic as an officer of the Iranian "Jerusalem Corps" suggests, the cleric Yazdi likes it, only there will be no approval from the religious leader and commander in chief of the armed forces, Ayatollah Khameini. Just as little as for the use of biological or chemical weapons. After the experience in the war against Iraq, which repeatedly used chemical warfare agents, Iran also bought a warehouse. It is estimated that around 1,000 tons of deadly warfare agents are produced every year. Iranian researchers are experimenting with biological resources in Damghan, about 300 kilometers east of Tehran. Further details are not known.

Washington and Jerusalem have certainly already looked at the possible consequences of an attack on the nuclear facilities in Iran. Iranian missiles on Israel or US military bases in the Middle East with many dead will be regarded as the “worst case scenario”. Then comes the closure of shipping in the Persian Gulf, which would drive the price of oil to unimaginable heights. In any case, an intensification of the resistance against the US occupation in Iraq is also included in the simulation. Not just weapons and logistics from Iran, but Republican degrees in foreign deployments. Suicide bombings on American facilities in the region or in Israel are considered the least of all evils.

But the time for an attack on Iran does not seem to have come. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad obviously knows this. He decides on a trade embargo against Denmark, in which the prophet cartoons were published first, and advertises a comic book competition on the subject of the Holocaust. At the same time he started the controversial uranium enrichment program again. Iran just does what it wants. The only question is how much longer. (Alfred Hackensberger)

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