With Sanctions Lifted, Iran Still Faces Many Obstacles to Upgrade Its Military

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Revolutionary Guard officers who were involved in the detention of U.S. Navy sailors in Iranian waters, Tehran, Jan. 24, 2016 (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader photo via AP).
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Revolutionary Guard officers who were involved in the detention of U.S. Navy sailors in Iranian waters, Tehran, Jan. 24, 2016 (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader photo via AP).

The lifting of economic sanctions on Iran has raised concerns that Tehran will use its newly released funds on vast military spending, threatening stability in the Middle East. Given escalating tensions with its Gulf Arab neighbors, the presence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State along its borders and ongoing military operations in Syria, Iran is indeed likely to spend a significant portion of its unfrozen assets and the unknown billions generated from renewed foreign trade on its military. Even so, it faces an enormous modernization bill and a host of bureaucratic, political and military-doctrinal challenges before it can effectively turn cash […]

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