Iran Prepares for War - Orders for Weapons Begin
Jeffrey C. Borneman | August 19, 2015
The theory that the Iran nuclear deal would somehow relieve tensions in the region is now dead. It was a ridiculous notion really, only taken seriously by journalists who reported accurate quotes but missed the real story. The ink wasn't dry on the U.N. deal before Iranian orders for heavy weaponry began and the scope became clear.
Iran has inked a deal with China to purchase 150 Chengdu J-10 mult-role jet fighters. The J-10 is an Israeli copy of the U.S. F-16 and will be refueled in-air with the additional purchase of 100 MK1 air tankers capable of refueling 6-8 fighter jets simultaneously. Iran is also considering the additional purchase of 250 Sukoi-Su-30 muli-role air superiority fighters from Russia. That is just for starters.
It is clear by the immediate purchase of some 500 military aircraft, that Iran intends to establish air superiority over the entire region and doing so with a brand new air force capable of striking far from its borders.
To protect these new military assets and dissuade any possible attacks on its nuclear facilities, Iran has also inked a deal with Russia for four batteries of the Russian S-300 air defense system.
According to a senior Air Force commander the S-300 "essentially makes Iran attack-proof by Israel and almost any country without fifth-gen [stealth fighter] capabilities. In other words, Iran, with the S-300, can continue to do what they want once those systems are in place without fear of attack from anyone save the US." (The Daily Beast).
U.S. allies in the region are beyond concerned. The idea is that Iran's military shopping spree cannot be matched by Israel or even the combined purchasing of the Gulf Arab states. But to allay fears, the U.S. has graciously offered Israel and Gulf Arab states billions in weapons sales and even weapons "aid" that includes increasing Israel's allotment of F-35 fighter jets.
Just last spring the Pentagon announced that, due to the sequester, it would cease production of both the Tomahawk cruise missile and the Hellfire missile. But just this week the Pentagon announced it has requested the production line for the Hellfire increase from 500 missiles per month to 650 to meet foreign demand.
Saudi Arabia just announced the purchase of 600 Patriot (Advanced Capability) Interceptor missiles at a cost of $5.4 billion and continues to pursue the purchase of 600-800 German Leopard Battle tanks. In 2002, Saudi Arabia’s defense spending was just under $20 billion; today it’s over $80 billion, a rise of 300 percent.
Demand for defense (offensive weaponry) continues to escalate. The nuclear deal with Iran has fundamentally altered the balance of power in the Middle East. It won't be long before enough dust settles that it becomes clear the Iranian nuclear deal was the U.S. exit strategy from the region. This strategy opens the door wide for Iran to prepare for war with a new conventional military while it completes its offensive nuclear weapons program.