OE Watch Commentary: Iran’s growing missile arsenal has become the focal point of international diplomacy in the wake of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and corollary UN Security Council Resolution 2231. Lebanese Hezbollah’s acquisition of more than 120,000 rockets and missiles despite UN Security Council resolutions demanding the group’s disarmament and a UN monitoring force in Lebanon, as well as sporadic Iranian and Hezbollah UAV penetration of Israeli air space, have also increased regional tension.
On 18 February 2018, while speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed a portion of an Iranian UAV which he said Israel had downed as it tried to penetrate Israeli airspace. In the excerpted article from Javan Online, General Hossein Salami, deputy Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, suggests that while Israel has developed anti-missile defenses, Iran’s strategy is simply to overwhelm Israel’s system with the sheer number of rockets.
Salami’s comments hint at Iran’s development of an asymmetric doctrine similar to the Iranian Navy’s utilization of speed boat swarming attacks in the Persian Gulf after Operation Praying Mantis in 1988. Iran appears to be embracing a corollary swarming attack with mass-produced UAVs and missiles, a tactic it could use to try to overwhelm the Saudi and Israeli anti-missile defenses or those of U.S. forces in the region. End OE Watch Commentary (Rubin)
“Today, we are witnessing that the US and Israel have turned into ridiculous artists, by showing the body of a rocket at the White House and the wing of an aircraft [in Munich] and introducing them as an Iranian missile and drone. This action means their position has declined. Faced with the [Islamic] revolution, their situation has become more complex.” He [Gen. Hossein Salami] continued, “The Israelis claimed that the UAVs which penetrated the skies of the occupied territories was Iranian, but whether this allegation is true or false, we should say this this isn’t the first and won’t be the last UAV of the resistance front, and the Israeli [F-16] fighter jet was shot down in response to the downing of the drone….”
“What were the THAAD and Patriot missile systems doing to counter that missile? Why couldn’t they intercept the missile?” He added: “If they cannot strike a missile, what will they do if hundreds of missiles rain down on them?”