On 17 March 2013, Iran launched its second domestically built destroyer, the Jamaran-2. However, unlike the first Jamaran destroyer, which was launched in the Persian Gulf, the Jamaran-2 was launched in the Caspian Sea and will be stationed in the port city of Bandar Anzali, roughly 240 kilometres north of Tehran. Iran’s latest move to assert itself militarily in the Caspian is only the latest in a series of incendiary measures taken by the five states in the Caspian Sea littoral: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia. The Caspian Sea has become increasingly volatile over the last few years with each nation on its shores upgrading, or planning to upgrade, their military capabilities. The simmering tensions in the Caspian Sea could even boil over into naval warfare.read more
In a result which many believe could mark a considerable departure from Georgia’s fiercely pro-Western stance, it was announced on 02 October 2012, that the loose coalition of opposition parties united under billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili ‘Georgian Dream’ banner defeated the United National Movement (UNM) party of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The result highlights how the release of the prison torture video appears to have galvanised an opinion held by many, that despite sweeping to power on a ‘law and order’ ticket and being a darling of the West, there has been growing concern within Georgia about the pervasive and brutal control administered by the state. Whilst the result of the election may now be a certainty, it remains unclear whether or not this is also a sign that the Georgian public no longer share the ambitions and views of their pro-European president, or if he has simply been punished for his domestic policies in a knee-jerk reaction to the prison scandal. In addition, although both parties have espoused widely similar and equally vague polices loosely based on an improvement of social welfare, Ivanishvili has remained tight-lipped about his international intentions and it remains difficult to ascertain whether Georgia’s future lies in the West with Europe and NATO or the East with Russia and Putin’s Eurasian union.
Martial law was announced in Iran’s northwestern border, adjacent to Turkey, Armenia and Iraq, likely hailing a massive rise of tension in this highly unstable region. Late on 24 June 2010, Iranian media reported that subdivisions of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and military equipment are being rapidly amassed on the border with Azerbaijan and eyewitnesses recorded flanks of tank, rapidly advancing towards the border and onwards, to the Caspian Sea coastline.
Iranian military officials explain that the measure has been necessary due to the presence of the United States and Israeli air force subdivisions on Azerbaijan’s territory. The Iranians also claim that the bombers were brought to Azerbaijan through Georgia, where the United States has considerabel military persence. Azerbaijan has not commented on this information.
Iran is assessed to have at least three reasons for accumulating arms:read more