Key point: Iran is getting help from several American competitors and adversaries.
Tensions continue to mount between Washington and Iran, with every week bringing forth a new round of diplomatic threats and accusations.
Most recently, Revolutionary Guards commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami gave a blistering speech in which he assured the Iranian parliament that the “vulnerability” of American aircraft carriers will prevent the U.S. military from challenging Iranian power in the Persian Gulf. Such rhetoric is par for the course for Iranian officials and state media, who project unwavering confidence in Iranian military capabilities.
But just how capable is Iran’s conventional military, and do they really have the means to effectively resist a U.S. offensive?
The National Interest previously looked at this nuanced question with overviews of Iran’s air force and surface navy. We now turn to what is arguably the core of Iran’s conventional military strength, and the reason why it boasts the fourth-strongest navy in the world: its submarine force.