Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - Iran has lost its biggest warship - the 1,500 ton Damavand – in the Caspian Sea.

The ship ran aground on rocks in January, after attempting to enter a harbour during bad weather. Iran initially tried to downplay the incident, but it soon became clear that the wreck was unsalvageable, leaving Iran with only one large surface warship in its entire fleet.

They had a plan to build seven, but production on the third has halted due to budget problems, leaving the Iranian Navy using mostly small coastal missile boats, small locally built submarines and speedboats manned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

While Iran does have five frigates and a yacht in its fleet, these are incredibly old and need refitting to serve as a modern warship, but this is unattainable because of the budget problems. These budget problems have also lead to strikes by Iranian workers who are not getting paid for work that they have completed on the naval ships.

This is evidence that Iran is much weaker than it likes to make out when it threatens the other nations of the Middle East with destruction.

Yes, Iran may introduce weapons that it has made itself, but for the most part, these are little more than propaganda tools. Due to international sanctions, Iran has found it hard to get their hands on the necessary equipment, so the weapons are of poor quality and hardly able to cover the distances or inflict the damage that Iran claims they can.

Of course, at various points over the past 40 years, international sanctions have been eased and suspended – most recently during the 2015 nuclear deal – but often Iran does not use this to strengthen its navy or any other branch of the military.

Instead, they strengthen their terrorist proxies, like the Yemeni Houthis and the Lebanese Hezbollah, in order to create chaos in the world without getting their hands dirty. Thus, they supply the Houthis with missiles to fire at Saudi Arabia and claim that they had nothing to do with it. They also used it to strengthen the IRGC, which is why there were so many attacks on US ships in the Middle East by the IRGC up until 2017.

This is why the US needs to enforce wide-ranging and targeted sanctions against Iran and why the US should pull out of the flawed nuclear deal. Iran is not using the money or the access to equipment to reinforce its armed forces, as is the right of any sovereign nation, but funding terrorism, regional expansionism, and the Supreme Leader’s private militia.

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