In 1980, Friendly Fire Was One of the Biggest Killers of Iranian Fighter Pilots
This story originally appeared on Oct. 4, 2016. September 2016 marked the 36th anniversary of the start of the Iran-Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of people between 1980 and 1988. Most people don’t know that this brutal conflict also saw a great number of friendly-fire incidents on the... Read more
In the Iran-Iraq War, F-5s and MiG-21s Fought to a Standstill
This story originally appeared on Sept. 19, 2016. There have been countless discussions over which is the better fighter jet— the U.S.-made Northrop F-5E Tiger II or the Soviet MiG-21 Fishbed. That can be a hard argument to settle. The Iran-Iraq war was probably a draw for the two types. More... Read more
Fears of an Aggressive Iran Are Far Older Than the Islamic Republic Is
This story originally appeared on May 27, 2015. The U.S. and Iran were once best friends. Washington saw the country as a stabilizing force in the Middle East, an ally it could rely on to keep the peace in a confusing and conflict-prone area of the world. It was... Read more
The Cavalier Crusade for a War With Iran
This story originally appeared on July 15, 2016. One year ago, opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement blasted the landmark accord as ushering in the Apocalypse. They are still at it. “After doing everything they could possibly think of to subvert and undermine the nuclear negotiations before their successful conclusion — even... Read more
Bombing Iran Is a Terrible Idea
This story originally appeared on March 28, 2015, more than three years before Pres. Donald Trump ended the Obama-era deal preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran hawks are playing with fire. We are close to a nuclear deal with Iran, but opponents continue to step up attacks aimed... Read more
War Hawks and Chickenhawks
Sometimes I get sick of saying it, but just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse … Donald Trump’s continual cabinet reshuffling — otherwise the stuff of reality-T.V. drama — has become genuinely frightening. Like so many Russian matryoshki, or nesting dolls, the president has been removing one... Read more
The Life and Tragic End of the Iranian Frigate ‘Damavand’
The frigate Damavand was the Iranian navy’s most important warship on the Caspian Sea — a symbol of a modest but growing armed presence on the world’s largest enclosed body of water, and a force for Iranian flag-waving in a region full of oil and natural gas reverses. But... Read more
No, Iranian Submarines Don’t Pose a Major Threat in the Mediterranean
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again slammed Iran’s presence in Syria, this time claiming that Tehran has a plan to base aircraft in the country, dock its submarines on Syria’s Mediterranean coast and directly threaten Israeli waters. “They want to bring their air force there, right next... Read more
Iran Is Building Air Defenses Against Stealth Aircraft
Read part three. The rapid development of Iranian air defenses over the last few years raises some big questions. How much are China and Iran cooperating? Why is China’s involvement a mystery to so many observers? In recent years, the Chinese defense sector has provided its export customers with... Read more
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Has Sea-Skimming Flying Boats
Iran has fielded a variety of unusual weapons over the years: F-14 Tomcat fighters hotwired to fire Russian missiles, homemade mini-submarines, and remanufactured Cold War jets. In 2006, Iranian television showcased a peculiar sea-skimming flying boat, and four years later Tehran triumphantly announced it had three squadrons of them serving in the Iranian... Read more
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