Defense Minister Expounds on Iran's Security Doctrine
Syasaterooz, Daily Newspaper
Vol. 2, No. 530, Feb. 18th, 2003, Page 7
Defense Minister Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani believes that Iran's defensive procedures are based on warding off threats. Therefore, he says, Iran's defense structure has been shaped in line with deterrent defense strategy to stave off any threat. Shamkhani says the Islamic Republic has shaped its security doctrine in keeping with three elements; security environment, security capability software and hardware. The hardware section is aimed to promote in accordance with defense and security capabilities and the software section is related to strategic instructions, political legitimacy and influence of Islamic criteria.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is located in a region fraught with crisis and it has been the target of Western assaults and propaganda due to its anti-arrogance nature. On the other hand, defending the territory of the Islamic regime and resisting against subversive thoughts requires quantitative and qualitative capabilities in the defense sector. Recently, President Mohammad Khatami announced Iran's acquisition of nuclear technology and it glimmers our statesmen's correct understanding of security requirements. To this effect, we sought the views of Defense Minister Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani about Iran's defense strategy.Q: Mr. Minister! What criteria is Iran's "defense strategy" based on at this sensitive juncture?
A: The Middle East is home to myriads of inclusive turning points for defense policies of the nations. This results from "alteration in approach" and "defense structure developments" in the countries. Under such circumstances, "regional and international conditions" are undergoing alteration and therefore Iran is required to develop its defense strategies in an attempt to safeguard national security in the international arena.
After the Islamic Revolution, Iran's borders and neighbors have undergone widespread developments and it can be attributed to Iran's security characteristics and the indices influencing Iran's defense policies.
We encounter threats stemming from either intra-structural origins or regional and international elements. Therefore such threats have to be dispelled. Iran's defense strategy is based on "deterrent defense strategy" for effective fight with such threats.
Deterrent defense strategy does not contradict with "confidence-building patterns" in diplomatic context and they should rather complement one another. Deterrent defense negates any action based on invasion. We try to bolster ourselves in the face of first enemy blow. The first blow is not struck for the countries to surrender and it should be construed as alarming notice. Preliminary resistance would clear the way for further dispelling threats. Therefore, Iran's goals are defensive but "hoodwinking threats" should be followed up through deterrent means. Defensive deterrence would dissuade the enemies from materializing threats because under such conditions any nation runs the risk of fallout of any invasion against the Islamic Republic.
Q: Would you please elucidate Iran's defense capabilities in the face of possible invasions?
A: Deterrent defense is impossible military gadget and therefore we tried our best to boost our defense capabilities after the Iraqi imposed war (1980-88: and minimize the enemies' impetus for attacking Iran.
To this end, we undertook plans to diminish chances of any attack by any powerful country. For instance, we produced new arms to reinforce our deterrent defense strategy.
This trend started after the end of the Iraq-Iran conflict and continued up to 1990s. Fruits bore in mid-1990s. Therefore Iran is set to establish an efficient national organization to encourage the people and clear the way for deterrent tools. Relying on the concept of "self-sufficiency" we started producing arms because classic weapons could not meet the entire national defensive requirements.
The Defense Research and Development Center is of prime significance because it can satisfy such needs.
Q: Mr. Shamkhani! What is your assessment of Iran's security doctrine in the future horizon?
A: Evidence indicates regional and international insecurities are swiftly growing. The regional nations are suffering from chronic insecurity and conditions based on insecurity would result in emergence of fresh conflicts between political units. It would lead to emergence of new instabilities and revival of centrifugal forces. Under such conditions we are required to reorganize Iran's national security doctrine to dispel new insecurities as an extensive spate of threats are posed. Such elements as external aggression, development of weapons of mass destruction, border clashes, espionage, sabotage, subversion, regional crises, state and organized terrorism. Production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction constitute threats posed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
These elements indicate that the international system lacks any central dominant force and therefore the Islamic Republic has opted for "countering threats" and "dispelling threats" as its defense policies.
Military power is significant to the point that it can establish security for us. Our interpretation of security is that the Islamic Republic of Iran can stabilize its values and regime structure without resorting to military operations and fights. Therefore, Iran considers military power as merely a tool for establishment of security.
The Islamic Republic has shaped its security doctrine in keeping with three elements: security environment, security capability software and hardware. The hardware section is aimed to promote in accordance with defense and security capabilities and the software section is related to strategic instructions, political legitimacy and influence of Islamic criteria.
Self-reliance, regular training and mobilization represent the constituents of software section of Iran's security doctrine. These elements would facilitate fight with newly-emerged threats.