When talking abouth the Baku regime, you could actually hope that they are simple-minded enough to gauge Iran's military strength based on some random news agency picture, and then truly launch a conventional military attack against Iran... as it would provide Iran with the required justification to liberate her ancient lands from the grip of that pro-zionist regime.
But Iran's enemies aren't that incompetent either.
On a general note, the following pictures below were also posted to illustrate the recent Army exercice at Iran's border with the so-called Republic of "Azarbaijan":
Here we can notice the use of kevlar helmets, body armour or both, as well as of powerful infantry weapons like automatic grenade launchers.
Yet, there's some focus on the trench picture and on taking issue with the way soldiers visible on that particular photograph are equipped. Why the selective approach?
The phenomenon of seeing only the empty half of the glass, so to speak, is actually quite widespread among Iranians. With some it takes extreme forms, those individuals perceiving Iran literally as hell on earth and idealizing the west as some sort of a paradise (fortunately Iranian users of this forum don't fall into this latter category).
I would tend to consider this to be largely part of the indirect fallouts of the enemy's massive psy-ops propaganda campaign against Iran. For students of these phenomena, it is actually fascinating to analyze (unfortunately so). It is safe to say that this multi-pronged, comprehensive, all encompassing propaganda effort, which resorts to every thinkable artifice and instrument in the toolbox, has absolutely no equivalent in human history, neither in scale nor in intensity. This in turn is due to the existential nature of the zio-American empire's enmity against not only the Islamic Republic but also against Iran and the Iranian people themselves.
Therefore the mood this media campaign creates and suggestively propagates, affects various Iranians and non-Iranians way beyond actual oppositionists, enemies of the Islamic Republic or bona fide anti-Iranians. Not only will the standards by which people evaluate and judge the IR vis a vis other political systems and states become biased as a result, but there will be a systematic tendency to magnify whatever may invite criticism at a superficial glance and with little regard for context, while tending to ignore grounds for praise.
Capital flight or having children who live in the west are not characteristic of "I.R. officials" in general, but largely limited to members of the liberal, western-apologetic, often Green Card-holding political class (reformists + centrists), plus a few additional elites.
It doesn't apply to the bulk of Sepahis, Basijis, Hezbollahis, 'arzeshis', nor to the Supreme Leader and his favored entourage.
To lump these categories together is misleading and results in erroneous conclusions.
The sons and daughters of high-ranking IRGC commanders are typically staying in Iran. They are even seen on the frontlines in case of war.
Seyyed Nasrallah's son was martyred while resisting zionist occupiers in Lebanon. General Hajizadeh's son volunteered to serve in Syria. Mojtaba Khamenei was present at the frontlines during the 1980-1988 Holy Defence. The Supreme Leader himself lost a hand in a bomb attack and has constantly been putting his life at risk in the framework of a just struggle against the biggest and most criminals powers of the day.
The IRGC having been classified as a terrorist organization by the US regime, it would doubly amount to madness for any IRGC officer to send their children to north America. Not that they had been into this practice prior to the US classification anyway.
Economic corruption does tend to have a reducing effect on budgets available for public spending, however this phenomenon exists everywhere and most often on a more systematic and massive scale than in Iran. So this can't be singled out as the prevailing factor when it comes to the equipment of basic Army conscripts.
The most immediate and logical explation was given by PeeD already. Let's quote him again, since this is critical to understand:
These are conscript army soldiers, not much can be expected. They are defensive troops that hold areas.
Then there are Artesh units with higher percentage of professional soldiers which can also do limited offensive operations.
And then there are IRGC GF and Artesh units that are there to do offensive tasks.
Infantry is not Irans real concern, the question is how much money is needed to maintain the Artesh and how much can be derived to IRGC missile forces and that's how Iran managed to get where it is in terms of deterrence today.
Its not creating pride to see those photos, but they are not really important.
There's really nothing to add to the above, except perhaps a reminder that Iran is still a developing country with a GDP situated in the corresponding range, and that its armed forces consist of conscripts. This needs to be kept in mind when comparing with wealthy countries that field smaller sized professional armies as well as (often overlooked) private mercenary corpses functioning as capitalist, profit-oriented enterprises.
What is more, unlike other developing countries with no more than a regular conscript army, Iran has a large popular paramilitary organization made of volunteers on top of it (the Basij). With literally millions of members, all of whom need to be equipped. In fact Iran is easily among the top five nations worldwide in terms of total numbers of military men, some rankings even put her in pole position.
This system has many advantages in itself and has played a significant role not only in contributing to Iran's deterrence against outside aggression, but also in guaranteeing Iran's domestic stability, which is unparalleled considering the level of threats faced by Iran. It also serves as a strong element of national integration and cohesion, at a time when powerful enemies have taken aim at the very existence of Iran as a unified nation.
Therefore, to expect that every Iranian soldier will enjoy relatively expensive gear from head to toe is unrealistic. To blame it all on the corruption of some segments of Iran's political class is to ignore key military-related explanatory factors.
In reality, despite the sanctions regime Iran is unjustly being subjected to, the quality and availability of infrastructures in Iran is very satisfactory compared to countries with similar income levels.
What other developing nation has converted as many simple roads into four-lane expressways?
How many developing nations with comparable income levels have a greater percentage of car owners among their populations, let alone a self-sufficient national auto industry? And that's in spite of the fact that Iran's car industry is to a considerable extent under the control of corrupt liberal elements.
Iranian hospitals on the whole are good enough to attract medical tourism, particularly from places such as "Azarbaijan" Republic and Oman to name the most prominent ones.
Nowadays, medical tourism is considered as a booming industry on the global scene as some 20 to 24 million patients are traveling for medical treatments annually. Estimates on market size vary but the Patients Without Borders publishing group puts its value at around €60 to €80 billion worldwide.www.tehrantimes.com
Public transportation has made impressive progress in Iran, particularly in the urban rail sector - here again, Iran is doing much better than most comparable countries. Even in the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, with far superior per capita incomes, major cities still lack metro systems as extensive as Tehran and major provincial capitals of Iran.
And so on, and so forth.
I'm puzzled as to how one can arrive at an assessment as out-of-touch.
During the Qajar era, Iran was losing territory after territory. When did this happen under the Islamic Republic? Last thing I remember, to prevent even an inch of Iranian soil from being ceded the IR fought tooth and nail for no less than 8 years against Saddam's Baathist invaders (who were backed by virtually the entire world).
Under the Qajars, most of the time Iran made as good as no progress in terms of economic and human development. Contrast this with the strides taken under the Islamic Republic. There's no comparison at all, as confirmed by every statistical study.
Also Iran's presence and influence beyond her borders (in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and many other places) today is such that it has the global superpower and its endless list of client states struggling to figure out how to undermine this influence, although every imaginable means short of direct military aggression - against which Iran is succesfully deterring them, has been put into practice in pursuit of that goal. Again no comparison whatsoever with the defeatist attitude of many Qajar rulers.
No. It's actual core, embodied in the actors and institutions loyal to the principles of the 1979 Islamic Revolution (Supreme Leader, IRGC, Hezbollahis, Basijis, arzeshis), is anything but corrupt.
Indeed, the Islamic Republic originally is one of the political systems least prone to economic and financial corruption. In the 1980's, during the war against Iraq, even international observers were praising Iran for the incredibly low levels of corruption (whether of basic civil servants or at the top of the government).
The corruption we see today is a result of and was generated during the reconstruction years after the war, under the presidency of the late Hashemi Rafsanjani, when economic policy-making took a relatively speaking neoliberal direction. Back then, the acting president enjoyed more influence among the political personnel of the state apparatus than the Supreme Leader himself.
It is a consequence of so-called pragmatist/centrist and then liberal reformist rule at the presidential, parliamentary and civil levels. Not a reflection of the I.R.'s original nature. And even so, it is still not exceeding the corruption that plagues capitalist societies around the world. Although of course, it will need to be rooted out once again.
Who are 'they'? Certainly not the Islamic Republic as a whole. Iran has an extremely plural power structure, where the involved factions are in fact pursuing completely opposed objectives. Unlike western, liberal so-called "democracies", where main competitors for power hardly differ in their core policy orientations (be it economic policy or foreign policy etc). This is how democratic Iran really is (perhaps too democratic, but that is a separate topic).
Furthermore, the example you cite is nothing much compared to how citizens were and are being ripped off in countries all over the planet, including in the most wealthy ones.
Are you aware that in a place like Cyprus, savings of private citizens were simply confiscated in 2013 (yes, transferred out of people's bank accounts just like that), in order to save that country's banking system i. e. one of the parties actually responsible for the financial crisis?!
We're talking about Cyprus here, a freaking member of the European Union! No, the 1% at the top of Europe's economic hierarchy, swimming as they do in unimaginable, indecent amounts of wealth, were never considered liable by EU authorities nor by European regimes to help compensate the mess caused by years of bankster malpractrice. It was strictly ordinary citizens who had to pay the price.
And how did the European Court rule in this affair? By dismissing compensation claims. Meaning that people's savings were grabbed legally, i. e. EU legislation is openly authorizing such theft:
An EU court has rejected a petition for compensation by bank depositors whose funds were confiscated in Cyprus's financial crisis in 2013, in a process which would become a European template for banks in trouble.www.reuters.com
Now take the widespread fraud by banks and their billionaire owners / managers, which led to the 2008 US financial crisis, consider its devastating consequences on ordinary Americans, realize how it improverished large swaths of the US middle class and then ponder the fact that actual culprits were spared judicial consequences, save a single one symbolically tried to create the illusion of justice.
The probes into bank fraud leading up to the financial industry’s crash have been quietly closed. Is this justice?www.theatlantic.com
I shall not even delve into how pharmaceutical and food corporations are allowed by western regimes to poison to death tens of thousands of their citizens for profit each year.
Nor into the numbers of homeless people in said countries (hundreds of thousands of American children alone are deprived of a decent roof above their heads).
Nor into the millions of poor living off food stamps in America.
Again, we're talking about the wealthiest countries on earth, none of which are suffering from the draconian sanctions that hamper Iran's economy!
So this is what the foreign regimes hostile to Iran are doing to their own people. What they'll do to Iranians, should they ever get the chance, is on an entirely different level of abomination and brutality.
A minored version of it can be observed in Iraq or in Afghanistan, two nations right next to Iran wrecked by the zio-American empire. If it can't be expected from the average Iranian to be perfectly in the know of what's really going on in the west, they hardly have an excuse when it comes to the situation of their next-door neighbours.
Such as Iraq, where 500,000 children were killed by the sanctions imposed by Washington in the 90's:
Where the illegal US invasion and subsequent destabilization of the Iraqi nation caused more than a million people to die:
More than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the conflict in their country since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to research conducted by one of Britain's leading polling groups.www.reuters.com
Another very partial glimpse into what the enemy would do to Iranians in case of a succesfull invasion of their country, is offered by the thousands of local men and women abducted and mistreated in torture centers such as the prisons of Abu Ghraib and Bagram, after the US regime under Bush jr. modified its legislation to the effect of having torture legalized.
Of equal significance is how US-led occupation troops shoot and kill civilians for no apparent reason, or how they raped women, in dozen such incidents documented by the corporate mainstream media themselves. Now just imagine the actual recurrence of such crimes taking into account all unreported instances.
A bombshell report has claimed Australian special forces soldiers gloated about torturing and killing teenagers when serving in Afghanistan.www.dailymail.co.uk
Bush's Army: a Few Good Degenerates Morewww.counterpunch.org
"The Hard Hand of War" Rape as an Instrument of Total War Morewww.counterpunch.org
Iran's enemies will create and prop up monstrous terrorist entities such as ISIS, which will sell people's mothers, sisters and daughters on slave markets (no offense).
Which will murder babies, cook their flesh and serve it to their unsuspecting, starving mothers as food, for no other reason than them being of Shia Muslim confession. Indeed, one such case was reported to have occurred in Iraq's Diyaleh province, by none other than the hero whose picture used to adorn your profile, namely shahid Soleimani.
Dear friend, do you really want to consider that all the above is nothing compared to a Tehran bourse scam? That these hair raising crimes committed by zio-American occupiers and their proxies can even be mentioned in the same breath as whatever wrongdoings against the Iranian people authorities of the Islamic Republic have been guilty of?
Let's not be ungrateful. I truly hope that no Iranian will find out first hand what it means to be occupied by the zio-Americans. Please don't do these bloodthirsty enemies a service by adopting an outlook so biased and removed from reality.
Because of the pervasive, omnipresent, tentacular impact of the colossal zio-American psy-ops campaign targeting Iran, many Iranians don't realize how lucky and well off they really are in international comparison.
Some who consider themselves patriotic and believe they are unaffected by zio-American propaganda, at times won't escape its subliminal influence.
There are those glued 24/7 in front of their TV sets consuming psy-ops productions from BBC Persian, Manoto and Saudi International, as well as those who spend their time on zionist-controlled "social media" filled with tons of anti-IR propaganda.
Then you have another category of people who tend to avoid these media, who will rely on personal empirical observation and on local press reports, but still end up aligning themselves on the tired mantras of the foreign-concocted "regime change" discourse. Why is that?
For one, much of the national media are not genuinely revolutionary nor faithful to the principles of 1979 to start with, but controlled by the liberal centers of power and fifth column relays of the empire based in Niavaran, Sa'd Abad and Velenjak. Which is sometimes lost on or deliberately ignored by their audience.
For two, the zio-American psy-ops venture is not only conveyed via media assets, but also transmitted by gutter-level social gossip, a focal point for the projective venting of social-economic and individual psychological frustrations within Iranian society.
Using advanced social-psychological manipulation tools and techniques, the enemy and its domestic fifth column have managed to generate a pernicious form of anti-IR / counter-revolutionary groupthink amidst particular segments of Iranian society through this very sort of lamentating, often irrational smalltalk and gossip.
So the second category of people mentioned above, will make practical observations and read the local press to gather information about political decision making in Iran, but when it comes to interpreting, analyzing this information, they will unconciously be susceptible to direction-shaping input from the general atmosphere prevalent among the groups with which they socially interact, and which might be affected by the enemy's mental engineering endeavours.
As a consequence of zio-American psy-ops, the notion of scale is lost; the comparative reflex, which ought to be natural when analyzing such issues, is completely lost; the relation to reality is even lost.
Thence, some Iranians will tend to imprison themselves inside that nihilistic, despair-ridden, gloomy, defeatist cognitive bubble weaved into their minds by their existential enemy's mighty propaganda apparatus, thereby becoming oblivious to the Islamic Republic's achievements they are indeed benefitting from every day, to the objective reality of their own living conditions in comparative terms, as well as to Iran's geoplitical position and defensive prowess, which has successfully managed to deter the global superpower and its underlying criminal oligarchy from ripping Iran apart like they destroyed numerous other nations in the neighbourhood.
Magnificent piece, SalarHaqq.
1 correction: The 1990s Sanctions against Iraqi people killed 1.7m civilians, which included 40k babies each month because they were not allowed to buy incubators for hospitals.
Other notable things about U.S. I would mention (all truth and verified) :
U.S. (Canada has a share of this too, just to be accurate) has murdered 140m native Americans, many tribes destroyed by sending soldiers to meet men outside the camps for fighting, while militia (cut-throat murderers at the time) went in around the back to kill the women and children.
Equivalent of 1 Hiroshima bomb per day for 12 years, was used in Marshal Islands
600-700k Cambodians murdered
580k bombs dropped on Laos
My Lai massacare, throwing babies up in the air and putting a bayonet through them and then throwing them down in front of their mothers (Sey Hersh describes it in a chilling way). 1 person (yes only 1 person, William Calley) was blamed and given life in prison. Then when no body was watching anymore, they changed his sentence to 3 1/2 years house arrest. So he sat in the backyard having steaks and beer and telling his buddies how he raped (along with the other 22 soldiers) and murdered 500+ civilians.
U.S. and U.K stopped U.N from condemning Saddam for the 1988 Halabja Massacre (no one talks about this). Even the French thought their friend should be condemned. U.S. wouldn't allow it.
I can also add coups, assassinations of head of states in central and south America, 50m blacks dying under slavery, 60m dying under segregation ----- buy hey, it is the UNITED STATES of AMERICA ...
Great read: Max Blumenthal, "Management of Savagery".
Great post SaralHaqq