Saturday, July 14, 2012

Iran's Missile Capability Growing Fast

A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said Iran's missile capability has grown so powerful that a partial knowledge of country's missile capability has discouraged Washington from attacking Iran. "Iran's missile capability has grown much in comparison with the past, and what the US knows of Iran's capability is much smaller than what it does not know," Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy General Ali Fadavi told reporters on the sidelines of the 18th annual meeting of the IRGCN on Saturday. He said the US economic sanctions against Iran prove that Washington and its western allies have realized that military action against Iran would be useless. "The fact that the US is using all its power for imposing oil and economic sanctions on Iran derives from the fact that they know they won't obtain any result through military options against the Islamic Republic of Iran," General Fadavi added. He said the fruitless wars conducted by the US and Israel in the last few years have discouraged both Washington and Tel Aviv from waging an offensive on Iran. "The United States and Israel have experienced bitter experiences of war in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and the like in the last few years," he said. He said the US couldn't defeat Iran in the Persian Gulf years ago when it was due to protect the Iraq-bound cargo ships during the Iraqi imposed war (1980-1988), and Washington and its allies are well aware that Iran's military capabilities have grown drastically since then. "Our 39 retaliatory operations were conducted successfully; in all these operations, the US warships (responsible for protecting the Iraq-bound cargo ships) started their voyage to reach the (Iraq-bound) ships sooner than us, but they could never prevent even a single operation of ours," the IRGC Navy commander said. Iran's naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy also said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the IRGC has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces. According to the report, Iran's Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz. The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets. The Islamic Republic's top military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, the country would target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway. A recent study by a fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin Talmadge, warned that the IRGC Navy could use mines as well as missiles to block the strait, and that "it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned".