Iran, apparently anticipating an American invasion, has quietly been restructuring its military and testing a new military doctrine that calls for a decentralized, Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign against an invading force.
Iran's military planners are acutely aware that a military confrontation with technologically more advanced U.S. armed forces would be rapid and multifronted, unlike the static and slow-paced 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. In December, more than 15,000 members of the regular armed forces participated in an exercise in northwestern Iran's strategically sensitive Azerbaijan border provinces that focused on irregular warfare carried out by highly mobile army units, according to the official MENA news agency. A second exercise was conducted in the majority-Arab province of Khuzestan in September, according to the Iranian press, aimed at quelling insurgencies in areas subject to ethnic unrest and prone to foreign influence. Involving a reported 100,000 troops, the exercise provided an example of how the Islamic Republic would respond to further disturbances in the strategic, oil-rich province that has been the scene of a year-old terrorist bombing campaign. Iranian officials, including the interior and the intelligence ministers, as well as several religious leaders, have repeatedly blamed the disturbances on British forces occupying nearby southern Iraq.
At the same time, a European military attache in Tehran told The Washington Times that the Revolutionary Guard is moving away from a joint command with the ordinary army and taking a more prominent role in controlling Iran's often porous borders, even as it makes each of Iran's border provinces autonomous in the event of war.
No way the US Army and Marines are going in with a conventional invasion high tech or not.