Every day we are reminded of Iran eminent threat to the region, and to the whole world.. As headlines warn us. “Iran’s growing influence in the region”. Or “watch out for Shi’ite Crescent engulfing the region, from E. Saudi Arabia, all the way to Lebanon by way of Iran & Syria. “or Remove Israel from the map”, as quoted from their pathetic president.
The biggest question is, do these Mullahs in Tehran project real force and influence in the region, or like a male turkey, they just bluff their feathers to look much larger then their true size, in an effort to impress the rest of us with its purported military might..
First, lets look at some data about the “Islamic Republic of Iran”?.
Here are few statistics. (Source: CIA Almanac).
Population: 65,875,223 (July 2008 est.)
0-14 years: 22.3% (male 7,548,116/female 7,164,921)
15-64 years: 2.3% (male 24,090,976/female 23,522,861)
65 years and over: 5.4% (male 1,713,533/female 1,834,816) (2008 est.)
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%
Chiefof state: Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989). Prior to his election, no visible knowledge, or experience of international relationship.
GDP – per capita (PPP): $10,600 (2007 est.)
Source of income – 85% from oil.
Oil – production: 4.15 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil – consumption: 1.63 million bbl/day (2006 est.). Only 2.8% of world consumption.
Oil – exports: 2.52 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil – imports: 153,600 bbl/day (2004). Mainly Gasoline and Diesel.
Military Force: from all one can tell, Iranian military forces are of a 3rd rate force with second rate technology. The backbone of it air force is is made up of Vietnam era US made phantoms F-4s. They are no match to the US F-22, F-117, F-18, F14 & F16, and Israel’s similar advance planes, and better trained fighter pilots.
International allies: Iran of late, it has been isolated and ostracised by the international community which fears the Mullah’s nuclear program,and its intended military purpose. Syria, Hizbollah & Hamas are the only groups which have close military and political relationship with Iran.
Now, let’s analyze the data, to see how this regime fares in time of conflict with outside forces.
Minority within a minority: Iran’s current leadership is made of Farsi ethnic group. They are only 51% of the total population of this ethnically diverse country. With reported 80% disapproval rating among the population, where these mullah will get their popular support?
Shiites vs. Sunnies : The Mullah’s Shi’ite sect of Islam, makes up only 11% or so of the total Muslims in the world. Despite their pretentious mantra of “Islamic unity” with other Muslims in the region, it is a known fact, that Iranians look down at their Arab neighbors, loath and view the Arabs as backward and primitives. A factor which has not escaped the Arab’s attention, and one of the reasons for Arab mistrust of the Shiite-Farsi.
The other conflict is the Shiites vs. Sunnies sects, which goes back to 1350 years (who is the rightful successor to Muhammad).
In reality, Iran today is surrounded from all sides with US and other western military forces. With no real and viable allies who share cultural and fundamentalist religious values with the Mullahs, Iran has no one else to rely on support, except on its Farsi sect. These Mullahs can’t even trust, nor rely other non-Farsi minorities in the country to come to their aid when needed.
Even groups, or states, such as Syria, Hizbollah & Hamas, those Mullahs have to buy their support with hard cash money. (Iran is reported to have paid over $1B to finance Syria’s purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missiles, and pays more then $300M to Hizbollah to keep it alive).
On the diplomatic front. Look at that little akh-mag-e-nejad (aka ahmadinejad). He is considered a burr and backward, even to the Iranians themselves. With his bizarre behavior and pathetic posture, he is a joke in the world arena.
On the internal front, these regime is loathed and despised by 80% of the young population, whom are by far more worldly and sophisticated then their leaders.
It reported that, there are more then 60 opposition groups to this regime. The most insidious and effective one is the dreaded MEK.
At anytime, the west can (and will) stop the flow of refined oil product (Gasoline, Diesel & Lubricant) imported from Kuwait to Iran. Crating a civil unrest in Iran (remember the riots when Gasoline was rationed to 100L a week). At same time, other Gulf Arab states will increase their oil supply to make up any lost shipments from Iran, thus blunt the treat of oil supply shortage.
In lieu of these facts, how these Mullas are going to survive, once a decisions of regime change is made by the west. One would guess, not much.
Stay tune and get ready for showdown with this regime – regime change is on its way, and those Mullahs know it.