Iran vs Saudi Arabia: Comparison of Military Power (Infographics)

Donate

Iran and Saudi Arabia are two major competitors in the Middle East. They both are actively involved in the ongoing Yemeni and Syrian wars, supporting their rival sides.

Despite little chances of a direct military confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the nearest future, the both countries are working to expand their military capabilities to shape the balance of power in the region.

Iran vs Saudi Arabia: Comparison of Military Power (Infographics)

Click to see the full-size map

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • Lord Humongous

    The numbers don’t matter so much. Iran would slice through the Saudis like a hot knife through butter. Like it or not, SA has a pretty consistent track record of being a pathetic, incapable and largely unwilling military. Iran, not great by Western standards, but full well capable of dealing with SA with a minimum of fuss.

  • paul

    I believe Iran has a sizable missile force not included above as far as
    I can see. Saudi Arabia would I suspect be ripe for what has become
    know as a decapitate strike; eliminate the political leadership and
    nothing is left. The Iranian practice war simulation and I think have
    a fighting ethos. Judging from Yemen the Saudis would stand very
    little chance against the Iranians. The question might be is this
    conflict coming?

    • chris chuba

      Good point. Not counting the missile arsenal was a major lapse unless that was assumed to be part of the last item, “Multiple Rocket Launch System”. The Saudis do have a ballistic missile arsenal that they purchased from the Chinese. We in the U.S. hyperventilate as if ballistic missiles mean ‘ICBMs’ when in reality they are quite common for tactical use in many militaries.

  • Ted

    As stated the Saudi cant fight worth a damn! However they would likely not be alone in any confrontation. Iran is not a military power in any sense of the word. It needs to rebuild its forces. It is built at this point to counter a specific threat not to go on an offensive into SA.
    I see this playing out quicker then some might suspect. If Turkey continues to grab land in Iraq and in North Syria, and defeats the Kurds it will likely not remove itsekf from the area. I dont see this sitting well in Iraq. Once ISIS has been removed I would think that Iraq will begin to make noise about Turkish incursions. Its Shia majority will have Irans backing. Turkey may be facing Iran in the not so distant future. It will seek allies in this area and the Saudis will be top of that list. Turkey continues to move away from the West and NATO. It plays its own cards in the area. I see Shia and Suni on a collision course once the Syrian war draws down, the Kurdish issue is closed. Unless the Kurds can somehow pull off a win?Which I think highly unlikely.

    • Lord Humongous

      Interesting. Turkey is playing with fire regards the Kurds. If Turkey takes, and holds Northern Syria, which Vlad may have allowed them to do as a quid pro quo, then Turkey will have a never ending Kurdish insurrection to fight. If there is some kind of unannounced agreement between Erdogan and Putin regards Turkeys invasion of Syria, the one proviso that has to be in place is no offensive operations against SAA. And for damn sure, stay the Hell out of Aleppo. We will know soon. I think there are some head choppers in Aleppo who see Turkish backed FSA as their saviors. If Erdogan allows them to enter the fray on the side of the head choppers in Aleppo, Erdogans life won’t be worth spit. He would likely get an unfriendly visit from SVR.

    • Bezukhov

      Can’t wait to see that show. I have no horse in that race, I’ll kick back and observe, just for the humorous Schadenfreude. Just hold off until I make some popcorn.

  • Helen

    Yeah try a military comparison between KSA and Yemen – lol. Saudis can’t fight – they would need full USA and Israeli engagement to fight Iran.

    • Bob

      Loyalties are big issue. Saudi state buys the tribal loyalties of many competing tribes toward ruling Al Saud’s. That does not translate into these tribes being seriously willing to fight for the dominant Al Saud tribe in an all out war with Iran. This is obvious from Yemen, where the Saudi’s struggle to get ground troops to actively participate, they require mercenaries from Pakistan, Columbia, UAE, etc to be on ground. SA actually assumed without even asking that the Pakistani army would do the dirty ground work in Yemen and surprised when Pakistani parliament vetoed it.
      Saudi-Iran war would see two very differently motivated national armies against each other.

  • McGiggle

    If it all goes to the dogs, then a few nukes would finish the useless and meddling waste of space sauds

  • sagbotgamot

    Saudi will never go to war on her own against Iran even if they seem superior than Iran. she needs to to be told by Tel Aviv and Washington what to do.

  • Iran’s two strongest assets are not even listed. Their more then 10,000 ballistic missiles aimed at the Capital of Global Zionism, Tel Aviv.
    #2 Basij Forces. Millions or Iranians civilian militia storming the enemies positions like the American Minute Men did to the evil-British lines and forts.
    Imperial-Armies are never a match for a motivated Civilian population who wishes to crush an imperial-enemy.

  • Suyanto Ng

    This is useless, Iran even didn’t need to move their hand since they already have variety pro-Shia/Iran fighter like Hezbollah, Iraqi PMU’s, Houthis. This group independently can deal with Saudi wahhabi kingdom.

  • Xzajil Saud

    saudis actually are fighting iran trained and equipped army of 500,000 in yemen,they don’t dare come close to the boarder any more,they ve tried hundreds of times before `n they got BBQed.

    • Freeway

      Those aren’t Iran trained. They are trained by years of war and experience. Also, the Yemen Republican Guard which is controlled by Ali Abdullah Saleh is allied with the Houthis. No Iran necessary. Yemenis, especially Northern, can defend their own territory with the sheer will to defend their land and honor. This alone offsets lack of comparable equipment. A Northern Yemeni will stand and fight and die to defend their land.

  • Freeway

    Considering Saudi Arabia spent $90 BILLION in the last few years buying state of the art equipment but are still getting their asses handed to them by Houthis in Yemen who use simple 1950’s era soviet weapons this debate doesn’t even make sense. Iran can take over Saudi Arabia in a few days.