0526 GMT January 17, 2021
Iran says self-sufficiency in the defense and military fields is one of the greatest results of 40 years of sanctions against the country.
Deputy Chairman of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Shahryar Heydari, in interview with Iran Daily, said that today, the Islamic Republic’s capability to produce military equipment is to such an extent that in addition to meeting the needs of the country, it is able to export the equipment to other countries as well.
“If it were not for the sanctions over the past 40 years, we could not have achieved self-sufficiency in the defense industry,” Heydari said, noting that now all countries are acknowledging Iran’s defense capabilities, which have been achieved by Iranian experts.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has been under constant unilateral US sanctions, which were tightened under the presidency of Donald Trump.
In 2018, Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement clinched between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions against Iran as part of his “maximum pressure” policy to force Tehran to renegotiate the nuclear agreement.
“Today, Iran’s defense capabilities are to such an extent that countries that have friendly relations and military cooperation with us can benefit from our military products,” Heydari said.
He underlined that Iran is the region’s greatest power in terms of defense and military strength.
“The point that highlights Iran’s military power and which everyone acknowledges is that our [military] power does not depend on Western countries.”
This is while many countries in the region, including the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, are currently importing their military equipment.
“These countries are in possession of modern [military] equipment, but none of their equipment is made by themselves.”
“Militarily, these countries depend on the production capacity of the United States and Western countries and, in terms of security and intelligence, are under the control of the Zionist regime, but Iran’s military, intelligence and security capabilities depend on domestic power.”
“Today, the military, intelligence and security power of countries that rely on their domestic capabilities is very different from those countries that import their needed military equipment.”
For example, if the United States imposes sanctions on Saudi Arabia, the Arab country would not be able to use its advanced warplanes.
In terms of training [their pilots], these countries are dependent on the United States. In the field of intelligence services, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf are also dependent on the Zionist regime, and it is clear that this regime and Western countries would not provide them with sufficient information and training.
“But from the point of view of US President Donald Trump, these countries are milking cows; he wants to milk them of their financial wealth.”
Recently, the US State Department approved the sale of $290 million in bombs to Saudi Arabia as part of a flurry of arms deals with Arab countries in the last weeks of the Trump administration.
Referring to an increase in the country’s defense budget in next year’s budget bill proposed by the government, the Iranian lawmaker said, “The defense budget for the year 1400 [next Iranian year] has slightly increased in comparison to last year’s because our defense budget does not meet the country’s defense needs.”
Heydari said that the details of next year’s bill show that the defense budget has increased from $4.36 billion in 1399 [the current Iranian year] to $4.53 billion.
“We hope that with the discussions that have been held in [Parliament’s] National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, and the negotiations that we have had with other representatives, the budget envisaged in this sector will be fully realized. If this happens, we would consider this budget partly appropriate, but if it is subject to decrease, it would be damaging to the country’s defense needs.”
Although Iran has been pursuing the policy of self-sufficiency in the defense sector, the military, defense and security cycles around the world are interconnected, and we may need some of the world’s state-of-the-art equipment in some areas. Therefore, the country’s military, security and intelligence forces must be provided with sufficient funds to be able to update their equipment with modern technologies.
Citing other countries’ defense sectors, which receive the highest budgets, the Iranian Member of Parliament said that the increase in Iran’s defense budget is normal.