Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

WASHINGTON – A Pentagon report claims Iran’s military doctrine is primarily “defensive,” but one of the nation’s top specialists on the Islamic theocracy calls the assertion “completely off the mark.”

In fact, Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy points out the Pentagon actually contradicts that claim itself, in its own report.

“In one sentence, the report describes the regime’s ‘aggressive policies, such as use of covert action and terrorism’ and then reverses itself by calling such policies ‘primarily defensive,'” Lopez told WND.

“This is the very definition of incoherence,” she added.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained a copy of the report, which is dated January 2015, and was due to Congress at the start of the year. Analysts told the Beacon, “the delay appeared designed to avoid upsetting Tehran and the nuclear talks.”

Middle East analyst Clare Lopez

Middle East analyst Clare Lopez

Lopez, who honed her analytical acumen during her 20 years of service as a CIA field operative and who has served as an instructor for military intelligence and Special Forces students, told WND, “The Pentagon clearly is completely off the mark when it characterizes Iran’s military doctrine as defensive.”

Indicating there was nothing in the report to suggest Iran had changed its stripes, Lopez cited a litany of specific historical instances of aggression either carried out, or supported by, Iran that were anything but defensive:

  • The Beirut Marine barracks bombing by its Hezbollah terror proxies in 1983.
  • The Iranian operational terror alliance with al-Qaida in the early 1990s.
  • The Buenos Aires terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in 1992 and 1994.
  • The terrorist attack on Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996.
  • The East Africa Embassy bombings of 1998.
  • The attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
  • The Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
  • All the funding, support, training and weapons (like Explosively Formed Projectiles and Improvised Explosive Devices) that Iran provided the Iraqi Shiite terror militias to kill and maim American troops.
  • Continuing Iranian regime support to Islamic terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
  • Support to the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“This list could go on much longer, but there is virtually nothing about the Iranian military doctrine that isn’t offensive,” summed up Lopez.

The Pentagon report also claims Iran is developing ballistic missiles to deter U.S. and Israel, while not mentioning repeated threats by the Islamic Republic’s leaders to annihilate both countries:

“Since the Iran-Iraq War, Tehran has placed significant emphasis on developing and fielding ballistic missiles to counter perceived threats from Israel and U.S. and allied forces in the Middle East and to project power.”

Lopez isn’t buying it.

“An anti-ballistic missile system might be considered a defensive weapon, but ballistic missiles, let alone Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) of the kind that Iran has, including some with nosecones visibly configured to carry a nuclear warhead, are offensive weapons.”

She continued, “They are designed to carry WMD (weapons of mass destruction) warheads with intercontinental range. Iran’s current arsenal of ballistic missiles includes missiles with the range to reach not only the entire Middle East, but much of Europe, and the continental United States as well.”

Iran's third test of its Sajjil-2 medium range ballistic missile in Dec. 2009

Iran’s third test of its Sajjil-2 medium range ballistic missile in Dec. 2009

Indeed, the report found Iran “continues to develop technological capabilities that also could be applicable to nuclear weapons, including ballistic missile development.”

Lopez issued a scathing indictment of the Pentagon report and its authors.

“Pentagon officials all took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. That they are either incapable or unwilling to fulfill that oath when it comes to the jihadist Iranian regime is dereliction of duty and a ‘Catastrophic Failure,’ to borrow a book title from my colleague, Stephen Coughlin.”

In a previous interview with WND, Lopez referred to another book, one that she believed served as “the blueprint for the Obama administration’s Middle East plan.”

She said, “The Devil We Know,” by fellow former CIA operative Robert Baer, advised America to seek a truce with Iran, deal with it as an equal and reach settlements on one issue at a time, “until Iran is ready for détente and maybe more.”

Lopez disagreed with the author’s conclusion that was a good idea, but believed the Obama administration is, in fact, following a plan to let Iran become the dominant power in the Middle East, with the intention of turning the state that sponsors more terrorism than any other, into a security partner of the U.S.

“I’ts not in the United States’ best interests, but it is one way of getting us out of Muslim lands, which is what this administration wants done,” she said.

That might explain the Pentagon now downplaying what virtually all analysts see as Iran’s aggressive military designs.

In sum, Lopez found the Pentagon report not only defied present reality, but history, as well.

“A quick look at the Iranian constitution shows that the Tehran regime was established from the beginning, after the 1979 Khomeini revolution, as a jihadist regime, with an Islamic identity, and a self-assigned mission to expand that revolution and Shariah via jihad to the entire world.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

She continued, “In the Iranian constitution, see especially in the Preamble the section about the ‘Religious Army,’ meaning Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, where it talks about its mission as not just defense of Iran’s borders, but jihad – jihad to spread the revolution and shariah to the whole world. And then it quotes from Quran verse 8:60 about ‘striking terror into the hearts of the enemy.'”

An exasperated Lopez concluded, “This is written right into the Iranian constitution! What on earth is not clear about this?!”

This is the section of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran to which she referred:


In the organization and equipping of the countries defense forces, there must be regard for faith and religion as their basis and rules. And so the Islamic Republic’s army, and the corps of Revolutionary Guards must be organized in accordance with this aim. They have responsibility not only for the safeguarding of the frontiers, but also for a religious mission, which is Holy War (JIHAD) along the way of God, and the struggle to extend the supremacy of God’s Law in the world.

“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your enemies, and others beside.”

Quotation from the Quranic Arabic Corpus

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