Iranian Weapons of War America Should Fear – Zachary Keck
(dailyalert.org, Jan. 27, 2015)
With the possible exception of North Korea, no country in the post-Cold War era has sought to challenge the U.S. as much as Iran. Tehran has never missed an opportunity to antagonize the U.S. and limit its influence.
In any conventional military conflict, Iran wouldn’t stand a chance against the U.S. armed forces. To compensate, Iran pursues a deterrent-based military doctrine premised on three types of capabilities: an expansive ballistic missile arsenal, asymmetric naval warfare (particularly the threat of closing down the Strait of Hormuz), and ties to non-state militant groups.
Perhaps Iran’s greatest deterrent threat is its ability to threaten oil shipments in the Strait of Hormuz, which roughly 20% of global oil supplies must transverse on their way to markets. Iran has at least twenty 150-ton Ghadir-class midget submarines that would be especially deadly in any conflict. As Chris Harmer, an expert on Iran’s military at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), explains, “The quietest submarine in the world is one that rests on a sandy seabed. That is how the Iranians would use the Ghadir – get it out of port, sink to the bottom of the shallow Persian Gulf, rest on the sandy bottom, and wait for a target to come to it.”
With the benefit of hindsight, Iran’s decision to infiltrate Lebanon seems like pure strategic genius, as Hizbullah has been the gift that just keeps giving. Time and again Hizbullah has proven to be the most versatile and usable “weapon of war” in Iran’s arsenal. Iran used Hizbullah to carry out terrorist attacks like the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and successfully attacked Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in 2012. (American Interest)