Much has been written recently about Iran's efforts to enhance its conventional military capabilities through the acquisition of new armaments. The problem for Iran is that it lacks the resources to acquire a modern military capable of competing with others in the region, much less with the United States. According to the December 1994 World-Wide Conventional Arms Trade (1994-2000): A Forecast and Analysis from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Iran will acquire $7.7 billion in weapons during the period 1994-2000 (about $1.1 billion per year). This will include "fighter aircraft, Scud missiles, attack boats, submarines, surface-to-air missiles, ship-to-ship missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers." By comparison, Saudi Arabia is expected to acquire $32.4 billion in weapons, Kuwait and the UAE together a total of $13 billion. Indeed, the UAE alone is expected to buy more than Iran.
Strategic Forum no.113 (May 1997)