Iran shows new missiles at parade, but is it falling behind in arms race? - analysis


Staff member
Iran shows new missiles at parade, but is it falling behind in arms race? - analysis
Iran only wins if it can try to keep up in the arms race of creating new threats that might be able to get around existing defenses.
Published: APRIL 18, 2022

Iran claimed it demonstrated surface-to-surface missiles and new drones at a parade this week. According to reports in Iranian and regional media, President Ebrahim Raisi also threatened Israel during the Monday parade. But reports from the parade were unclear about whether Iran’s usual claims to have rolled out some new missile or military threat are actually slowing down.

One issue a regime like Iran faces is that it cannot invent new weapons every day, but thrives on boasting that it can. Tehran knows that because it is poor, isolated and under sanctions, its real abilities are heralded either through unconventional threats, such as using proxies, or producing new capabilities to show off. This comes in the context of threatening Israel. However, Iran also knows that you can’t keep producing new technology without actually showcasing how the technology works.

For instance, the Islamic Republic has been rapidly increasing the use of its drones. There is no doubt the Iranian drone threat is increasing. However, there may be diminishing returns here. You can only build so many different drones. Why doesn’t Iran merely make several drones and hone them? The US, for instance, doesn’t build new drones every six months, but rather relies on several systems and improves them slowly.