A senior Iranian navy commander unveiled the country’s plan to construct an aircraft carrier as part of a broader project to upgrade the country’s maritime warfare capabilities. "Building an aircraft carrier is also among the goals pursued by the Navy,” said Deputy Navy Commander for Coordination Admiral Peiman Jafari Tehrani on December 26. "At present, the defense ministry and the Navy are both after building military equipment for naval warfare but the defense ministry is producing different types of missiles indigenously and the Navy's needs to missiles are met using this capacity," he added. Tehrani also underlined Iran’s military “superiority” in the region and stressed that Arab countries were incapable of fighting a war against the Islamic Republic.
At a time when the Iranian currency is yet again in a free fall and ordinary Iranians are facing myriad economic problems, the Iranian regime is mostly focusing on advancing its military capabilities and expanding its subversive activities to intimidate and destabilize its neighbors.
Iranian leaders often exaggerate the country’s military achievements; thus, Tehrani’s claim about building a costly aircraft carrier could be just another bluster. But it is apparent that Tehran has recently been investing more to purchase advanced weapons from Russia and China and to produce missiles and naval assets at home. This is another grim reminder that Tehran will use any additional revenue from sanctions relief more for military purposes than on economic and development projects.