Monday, June 30, 2008

IRIAF F-14A Tomcat in action Pt. 3

Iranian F-14 Tomcat photos from Mehr and Fars news agencies.

Iranian Fast Attack Craft

New Iranian-built fast attack craft with platforms for two C-701 (Kowsar) anti-ship missiles.

Recent News Quotes from Iran's General Staff

June 30, 2008
Commander of IRGC's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi, said the Revolutionary Guards plan to set up provincial commands that would help boost the country's defense potential in countering threats posed by the enemy.

"The main objective of the new structure is to strengthen the IRGC's defense and combat capabilities," Hejazi explained.

According to Gen. Hejazi, world powers have launched a psywar campaign against Iran, which calls for further solidarity among Iranians. The commander added that the IRGC has additional strategic plans to decrease the efficiency of enemy military tactics.

General Hejazi also warned that in case of an attack on the country, aggressors will be met with an 'iron fist' response.

"The US would have to suffer the consequences of attacking Iran because the era of hit-and-run operations has passed," the General claimed.

"The enemy should know that anyone who attempts to jeopardize the future of the children of Iran will be dealt an Iron fist blow," he added.

IRGC to set up provincial commands
Iran: 'Iron fists' await aggressors

June 29, 2008
Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh, the Head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defense, said Sunday that it had been decided to dig some 320,000 graves in Iran's bordering provinces for future slain invaders.

"We do not wish the families of enemy soldiers to experience what Americans had to go through in the aftermath of the Vietnam War," said Brig. Gen. Baqerzadeh, who is also the head of the search committee for missing soldiers.

The commander said the preemptive measures would decrease the time slain soldiers would be 'missing in action'.

"The burial of slain soldiers will be carried out decently and in little time," he continued.

Baqerzadeh added that the decision is in line with the Islamic Republic's commitment to comply with the Geneva Convention and the additional protocol regarding wartime cooperation between Iran and the Red Cross.

Iran 'digging 320,000 graves for invaders'
320,000 Graves for Slain Invaders

Above photos, top to bottom:
- Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi
- Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh

Iranian Armor Updates

From Press TV:
Iran has launched a production line for superior 'Quick Reaction' tanks as part of the country's campaign for defense self-sufficiency. Head of the self-sufficiency unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ground forces, Colonel Nasser Arab-Beigi, said Iran has successfully started the production of a 'Quick Reaction' tank named 'Tosan'.

He added that a project to modernize engine and fire control systems for T-55 tanks is also underway.

Col. Arab-Beigi said the self-sufficiency unit is also working on projects to enhance passive defense systems and secure the country's military sites. He said the unit had been producing tactical vehicles since 1993, adding that it has also started work on anti-shield military equipment and electro-optical surveillance systems.

Above photos, top to bottom:
- Scorpion light tank, believed to be the basis for the Tosan (Wild Horse or Fury) Rapid Response Tank.
- Turret view of an updated Iranian T-55 type tank.

Additional sources:
Fars News
Jane's Armour and Artillery

White House: No Comments on Covert Ops in Iran

The White House declined to comment today on the report that US lawmakers last year approved 400 million dollars to ramp up covert operations in Iran to undermine Tehran's leadership.

"I couldn't comment either way," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker reported on Sunday that the US Congress had passed President Bush's funding request for the secret operations, including US support for minority dissident groups and intelligence gathering about Iran's nuclear facilities. The Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) were said to be involved in the operations.

US Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker today rejected the allegations.

“I can tell you flatly that US forces are not operating across the Iraqi border into Iran,” he told CNN.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CIA-JSOC Covert Operations against Iran

Seymour Hersh writes in The New Yorker today that the US Congress late last year approved a top secret Presidential Finding to fund major covert operations against Iran.

Although covert activities in Iran are not new on the part of the US, the magazine said the “scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded.”

The Presidential Finding is conveyed to a select group of Congressional leaders and their intelligence committees, otherwise known as the Gang of Eight, the report said. The group approved President Bush’s request to allocate $400 million for covert operations.

The Bush administration's request for funding came around the same time as the December 2007 release of the National Intelligence Estimate, which said that Iran halted nuclear weapons work in 2003.

Citing former military, intelligence, and congressional sources, Hersh reports that the move reveals a “major escalation” in clandestine operations aimed at destabilizing the Islamic Republic's leadership.

Iran Reviewing Group 5+1 Package

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said today that Iran is reviewing a package of incentives by six world powers with a “constructive view” [IRNA, 29 May].

“Iran will give an answer to the package after examining it,” Mottaki told reporters in Tehran.

On 14 June, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana handed the offer of incentives to the Iranian authorities on behalf of UN Security Council permanent members - France, Britain, Russia, China and the US - plus Germany (Group 5+1) in a bid to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment.

Israel Responds to Jafari’s Comments

From Israel, the former head of the Israeli intelligence agency, Shabtai Shavit, today told The Telegraph that Israel has one year to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, or it faces the risk of coming under nuclear attack by the Islamic Republic.

Shavit’s comment came after IRGC Commander Maj. Gen. Jafari on Saturday warned Israel not to attack Iran, saying Israel was well within range of Iranian missiles.

“As an intelligence officer working with the worst-case scenario, I can tell you we should be prepared. We should do whatever necessary on the defensive side, on the offensive side, on the public opinion side for the West, in case sanctions don't work. What's left is a military action,” Shavit said.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Attacks on Middle East Nuclear Sites of the 1980's

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was actually the first in the world to hit a nuclear reactor site on September 30, 1980. The attack took place eight months before the Israeli Air Force repeated the feat in 1981. This is documented in an open sourced essay titled Target: Saddam's Reactor, Israeli and Iranian Operations against Iraqi Plans to Develop Nuclear Weapons by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop. There was a surprising amount of Israeli cooperation in the Iranian effort to neutralize Iraq's nuclear facilities.

Only a few hours after Iraq initiated the invasion on September 22, a telex from Israel arrived in the offices of the Iranian government, starting with: "How may we help?" The same message continued with a very detailed assessment of the Iraqi military, including unit dispositions and locations along the Iranian border, and a list of 124 suggested targets for the IRIAF, ranging from power stations to air bases, with the Osirak reactor site highlighted.


As September 30 dawned four F-4E Phantoms of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Squadron took off from Nojeh TFB.3 at Kaboodar-Ahang, near Hamedan. Flying on a south westerly course, the formation first approached the Iraqi border to meet a Boeing 707-3J9C tanker - escorted by two AIM-54A Phoenix-armed Grumman F-14A Tomcats - so they could refuel in mid-air. Each Phantom was armed with six Mk.82 GP bombs, two AIM-7E-2 Sparrow air-to-air missiles, and a full load of 20mm ammunition for the M-61A-1 Vulcan cannon. After crossing into Iraq at very low level, the formation - led by a full Colonel - climbed so that the enemy early-warning radars would paint it just long enough for the Iraqis to think they had fixed the direction in which the Iranians were heading. Moments later, the flight dropped back down to a very low level, where the Iraqis were no longer able to track it. Then the Phantoms parted - the leading pair continued in the same direction as before, towards a powerplant just south of Baghdad, while the other two turned for Tuwaitha, further south. As the last two F-4Es approached the Tammuz building site, they remained very low, pulling up at the last moment, barely 2.4 miles (4km) from the target, and then the aircraft remained high for a very brief period. To the surprise of the crews, the Iraqis did not fire even a single missile or shell at them. Approaching on a direct route and executing a perfect attack, the pilots swiftly acquired their targets east of the reactor buildings, rolled out and released the 12 Mk.82s, remaining in the air over the target for only six seconds! Simultaneously, the two other Phantoms hit their target, taking out the power supply to Baghdad for most of the next two days.

Cooper and Bishop also provide details of the Iranian H-3 Blitz, the Israeli strike on Osirak, as well as Iraqi attacks on Bushehr. Recommended reading.

Deliberate Misquotes at Joint Force Quarterly

There is a deliberate misquote and quote taken out of context regarding Iran's leaders in the article Israel’s Survival Instincts and the Dangers of Nuclear Weapons in Iranian Hands by Richard L. Russell. This article is published by Joint Force Quarterly in PDF form.

Russell claims President Ahmadinejad said that Israel "must be wiped off the map". What Ahmadinejad actually said was "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."

Russell then claims that Chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rasfanjani "mused that a single nuclear weapon could obliterate Israel, whereas Israel could 'only damage' the world of Islam". What Rasfanjani actually said was "If one day ... Of course, that is very important. If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality."

Joint Force Quarterly is published for the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, by the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, to promote understanding of the integrated employment of land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces. The journal focuses on joint doctrine, integrated operations, coalition warfare, contingency planning, military operations conducted across the spectrum of conflict, and joint force development. That it would publish Russell's work containing a one-dimesional perspective of Iran and Israel's nuclear issue is yet another indicator of the US military and political climate surrounding a potential strike against Iran.

Talk of War from IRGC Major General Jafari

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari on a US/Israeli attack on Iran:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's defense capabilities today, in particular its missile power, enable it to repel any possible attack."

"Israel is located entirely within the reach of our missiles. Our missile power is such that the Zionist regime, despite all its capabilities, would not be able to confront us."

"There is the possibility that by attacking Iranian nuclear sites the enemy wants to delay our nuclear activities, but any interruption would be very short since Iranian scientific ability is different from that of Syria and Iraq."

"It seems without the cooperation of the occupying regime of al-Quds, rhetoric cannot turn into action. Even though the US may believe it can unilaterally attack Iran, the US needs Israeli assistance."

"This fact would be a deterrent factor for our enemy given the numerous vulnerabilities of the Zionist regime."

"Naturally, any country coming under attack will use all of its capacity and opportunities to confront the enemy. Given the main route for energy to exit the region, one of Iran's steps will definitely be to exercise control on the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz."

"If enemies from outside the region use the soil of regional countries against the Islamic Republic of Iran ... the governments of those countries will be responsible and it is our obvious right to act in the same way against their military capabilities and abilities of enemies everywhere."

"Should a confrontation erupt between us and the enemy, the scope will definitely reach the oil issue. ... Oil prices will dramatically increase. This is one of the factors deterring the enemy from taking military action."

Jaffari's comments were made in an interview conducted by Jam-e Jam, an Iranian daily newspaper.

PressTV:'Israel within Iran's missile reach'
AP:Report: Iran to hit Israel if attacked

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Grumman F-14 Iran Promotional Film

Film from 1977 documenting Grumman sales and support of the F-14 Tomcat to the Iranian Air Force.

Iran's Marine Commandos

Takavar Daryayi (Marine Commandos) in training maneuvers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Iranian Aerial Refueling Tanker Aircraft

Top to bottom:
- KC-747 aerial refueling tanker
- KC-707 aerial refueling tanker
- KC-707 in action
- KC-707 with F-14, F-4 and F-5

Google Earth Imagery: Iranian Naval Vessels

Top to bottom:
- Two Kilo class SSK submarines and a Ghadir mini-sub at Hormuz Navy Base
- Identified Sina class missile boat
- Thondor class, China Cat (SSM) and Tir naval vessels

Nahang Submarine

The Nahang (Whale) is an Iranian built diesel-electric submarine. Its design and construction involved 220 researchers, and 1.2 million hours of scientific and industrial work.

Top to bottom:
- Nahang in the Persian Gulf
- Nahang at port
- Construction and...
- Assembly

Google Earth Imagery: Mashad/TFB 14

Detail of the 14th Tactical Fighter Base at Mashad. Depicted are twelve Mirage F1s, two F-4Es and three F-5s.

Air-Launched Weapons Pt. 2

Top to bottom:
- Retard-750 (M-117) and Retard-1000 (MK-83) bombs
- Fattar-1 air-to-air missile
- Sejil air-to-air missile
- Qadr (GBU-67) air-to-surface missile

Air-Launched Weapons Pt. 1

Top to bottom:
- Qassed GBU-78/A air-to-surface missile
- Yasser
- Kite-2000 and Zoobin (AGM-379) air-to-surface missiles
- Sattar 1 and 4 air-to-surface missile
- Sattar 3 air-to-surface missile

Iranian Machine Guns

Top to bottom:
- MGA3
- MGD 12.7
- Pkm-t80

The IRGC and the Militarization of Iran's Politics

Jane's is reporting that the political leadership of Iran is increasingly reliant on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to maintain power.

Having chosen the path of defiance in relation to the West and repression of domestic unease, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei considers the IRGC officer class more apt at crisis management both at home and abroad than the bureaucratic leftovers from the presidencies of Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-1997) and Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005).

This trend is reflected in the composition of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government, appointments of provincial governors and the results of the 14 March 2008 parliamentary elections. Without Khamenei's blessing, who is the ultimate religious and political authority, this militirisation of politics could not have occurred, at least not at this pace.

Far from being an innovation, the IRGC's presence in the Ahmadinejad government continues a constant in the Islamic Republic's politics, in which the ideological officer corps has been represented in all but the shortlived transitional government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan (February-November 1979). Still, the number of former IRGC members seems to have reached a new peak during the Ahmadinejad presidency. Besides Ahmadinejad, nine out of his 21 cabinet ministers all come from the IRGC.

The report in Jane's warns that Khamanei's reliance on the IRGC could in the long run make the Islamic Republic susceptible to military dictatorship, potentially replacing the theocratic regime.

Transport, AWACS and Maritime Patrol Aircraft

Top to bottom:
- An-74TK-200
- An-74s during IRGC maneuvers
- Il-76 AEW
- C-130 Hercules
- P-3F Orion