Explaining the Role of the Navy in Exercising the Maritime Power of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Proffossor of Geography, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, Iran


Extended Abstract
Historically, the Navy has been one of the pillars of power assessment of countries, and for this reason, the importance of this force has been taken into consideration, whether at applied level by the politicians or at the theoretical level by strategists and thinkers. Therefore, this force has always been one of the main pillars of the exercise of power by the world powers, and geostrategy of many countries is defined on its basis.
Iran is one of the oldest countries with naval forces and has used it for its goals. But the Iranian navy has fluctuated and has not had growing on steady process. In the modern era, especially over the past decade, Iran's navy has succeeded in achieving relative success, and if continued, could become one of the most important bases to Exercise of Iran Power. Therefore, in this paper, Iran's Navy has been studied to examine its impact on hard and soft powers and thus its smart power.
Here, the method of data collection is based on library and documentary findings. In this way, information are gathered by referring to real and virtual resources. Then, the collected data are analyzed by qualitative- inferential method.
The Results and discussion
The results showed that Iran's navy based on the definition of a new strategy for the development of the navy of Iran, using two principles of military management, namely tactical and strategic force, have affected hard and soft power of Iran, and ultimately, its smart power. IRGCN, as a tactical naval force, with its military and constabulary roles has provided the basis for exercising Iran's hard power in the maritime areas of Iran, and IRIN as a strategic naval force, with its diplomatic role has provided Iran's soft sea power in world seas. The combination of these two types of maritime power has formed the maritime smart power of Iran.
On the one hand, given type of weapons, coastal defense, asymmetric warfare and maritime surveillance, it forms exercising IRGCN’s hard power and on the other hand, exercise IRIN’ssoft power by maritime diplomacy, cooperation diplomacy, showing the Flag and deterrence diplomacy and etc. From the combination of these two dimensions of naval power, the maritime smart power of Iran is formed, which can be analyzed on the basis of the following dimensions: Understanding of the importance of maritime theaters, proper Fleet distribution, expand of the maritime territoriality, increase in maritime strategic depth, understanding of the use of dual navy’s equipment,  understanding of the geo-economics status of the sea, develop a variety of maritime diplomacy, approach threats to rivals, cognition of geostrategic enemy, protection of marine assets, especially in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, reduce of overlapping of sea area of dual forces,  creation of a defense line to prevent threats, delay operations, fight against piracy, Navy management based on the principle of unity in plurality and plurality in unity, reduce of potential vulnerability in battle with the enemy, far defense, knowhow of use of conventional and unconventional naval war, define appropriate military tactic and strategy for the Navy, establishment of new naval bases, maritime safe zone. So in a schematic way we can represent the chain of Iran's use of smart maritime power as follows:
understanding the maritime theaters to exercise of power      understanding the balance of power between hard and soft Navy solutions and different degree of intensity these can appear      understanding the Institutional Framework for the use of smart power on the Navies       creating unity and partnership of the two navies         implementation of maritime policies and strategies          understanding the goals.
Iran, due to its maritime and strategic position, can achieve a highly efficient navy by planning and access to the appropriate equipment and show its maritime power and authority at regional and trans-regional levels. Therefore, recognizing this fact, Iran, by defining a strategic maritime strategy, tries to take advantage of this capability and be more present in the maritime arena.
Analyzing the performance of the Iranian Navy, reorganizing and defining a strategic navy indicates Iran's naval ability to increase hard and soft power and ultimately Iran's smart power through tactical and strategic navies. Over the past decade, Iran has been able to use its navy to exercise hard and soft power and ultimately smart power in green and blue waters. The tactical naval and strategic naval, according to their mission areas, respectively, have the task of applying hard and soft power in green and blue water, and their combination have formed the maritime smart power of Iran.
Expanding and strengthening the strategic navy can be a way to break and influence the Western-Arab containment (Western-Arab NATO) defined against Iran. By expanding the navy Iran can create a threat and expand the battlefield in several ways and reduce direct pressure on its border. Therefore, this force should consolidate its presence in the maritime arena, especially in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, and seek to develop its maritime smart power. Because Iran needs hard power in green water and soft power in blue water today.


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