Iran Military Power: Ensuring Regime Survival And Securing Regional Dominance

Iran Military Power: Ensuring Regime Survival And Securing Regional Dominance
Iran Military Power: Ensuring Regime Survival And Securing Regional Dominance
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To individuals studying the military dynamics in modern Iran, this report examines Iran's defense and military goals, strategy, plans and intentions. Also reviewed are it’s  organization, structure, and capability of its military supporting those goals; and the enabling infrastructure and industrial base

 Photographs, comprehensive graphs tables and charts, Iranian missile system charts, cartoons and diagrams create a compelling visual portrait.  These images, a thorough analysis of the state players (complete with military portraits), plus detailed descriptions of military units and examples of their religious zeal drives Iran to be a Middle East military powerhouse. The resource cites the number of  Partners, Proxies, and Affiliates that alone are an awesome array of fighting forces the Iranian leadership can draw upon at any time or for deployment against what leadership might consider as the enemy, such as the United States.  

The list includes:

  • Hizballah - a highly adaptable and malleable organization
  • Iraqi Shia militias - one of Tehran’s strongest levers of influence in Iraq
  • Huthis - the Huthi rebels in Yemen - a low-cost, high-reward opportunity
  • Palestinian militants – support for training, funding, and military equipment
  • Taliban - provides calibrated support—including weapons, training, and funding
  • And other militant groups

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Table of Contents

Introduction/Historical Overview  1

1921–1979: The Shah’s Army. 1

1979–Present: The Guardians of the Revolution 3

National Military Overview 10

Threat Perceptions  12

National Security Strategy 12

Stability Issues 13

External Defense Relations 15

Defense Budget 18

Nuclear Program 19

Military Doctrine and Strategy. 22

Perceptions of Modern Conflict 23

Military and Security Leadership  24

Major Military and Security Institutions 24

National Military Command and Control 26

Key Military Leaders .28

Core Iranian Military Capabilities 30

Ballistic Missiles  30

Antiaccess/Area Denial .32

Unconventional Operations 33

Expeditionary Operations 34

Cyberspace  35

Intelligence 36


Space/Counterspace .37

Chemical and Biological Warfare 38

Denial and Deception. 39

Underground Facilities.  39

Outlook: Building a More Capable Conventional Force  40

Appendix A: Missile Force  43

Appendix B: Naval Forces. 48

Appendix C: Unconventional Forces 57

Appendix D: Air and Air Defense Forces 64

Appendix E: Ground Forces  72

Appendix F: Special Operations Forces  76

Appendix G: Reserves 78

Appendix H: Intelligence Services   81

Appendix I: Defense Industry and Modernization Programs  83

Appendix J: Arms Transfers  88

Glossary of Abbreviations 92

References 95


This comprehensive look at Iran’s military is intended to inform the public, our military and Congressional leaders, the national security community, and partner nations about the challenges the Free World face in the 21st century. Educators and students of Middle East history and geo-politics should also find this publication illuminating.

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Department of Defense (DOD),Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
Key Phrases:
  • Iran;Military Power;Securing Regional Dominance
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