Military of Iran

Military of Iran

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The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

include the IRIA
Islamic Republic of Iran Army
The Islamic Republic of Iran Army is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, it is also called Artesh, which is Persian for "army." As of 2007, the regular Iranian Army was estimated to have 465,000 personnel plus around 350,000 reservists for a total of 815,000...

  and the IRGC  and the Police Force
Law enforcement in Iran
Law enforcement in Iran has 60,000 police personnel served under the Ministry of Interior and Justice, including border patrol personnel.The Police-110 unit specializes in rapid-response activities in urban areas and dispersing gatherings deemed dangerous to public order. Marine police have 100...

  .

These forces total about 545,000 active personnel (not including the Police Force
Law enforcement in Iran
Law enforcement in Iran has 60,000 police personnel served under the Ministry of Interior and Justice, including border patrol personnel.The Police-110 unit specializes in rapid-response activities in urban areas and dispersing gatherings deemed dangerous to public order. Marine police have 100...

 and the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution). All branches of armed forces fall under the command of General Headquarters of Armed Forces (ستاد کل نیروهای مسلح). The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics
The Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics is the defence ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It was formed in 1989 and has control both over Iran's regular forces and over its Revolutionary Guard, particularly bringing the latter under the overall defence umbrella by reducing its...

 is responsible for planning logistics and funding of the armed forces and is not involved with in-the-field military operational command.
  • The Iranian Military consists of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Army is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, it is also called Artesh, which is Persian for "army." As of 2007, the regular Iranian Army was estimated to have 465,000 personnel plus around 350,000 reservists for a total of 815,000...

    , Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
    Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
    The Iranian Navy has traditionally been the smallest branch of Iran's armed forces and is designed mainly for securing its own ports and coast.- Overview :...

    , Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    , and the Iranian Air Defense Force
    Iranian Air Defense Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force is a branch split of from IRIAF in 2008 and has more than 18,000 military personnel it contorls all of iran's military land besed air defense it is currently commanded by general Farzad Esmaili.-History:...

    . The regular armed forces have an estimated 545,000 personnel: the Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Army is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, it is also called Artesh, which is Persian for "army." As of 2007, the regular Iranian Army was estimated to have 465,000 personnel plus around 350,000 reservists for a total of 815,000...

    , 465,000 personnel; the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
    Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
    The Iranian Navy has traditionally been the smallest branch of Iran's armed forces and is designed mainly for securing its own ports and coast.- Overview :...

    , 28,000 personnel, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    , 52,000 airmen
    Aircraftman
    Aircraftman , or Aircraftwoman , is the lowest rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of several other Commonwealth countries....

    . Iranian Air Defense Force
    Iranian Air Defense Force
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force is a branch split of from IRIAF in 2008 and has more than 18,000 military personnel it contorls all of iran's military land besed air defense it is currently commanded by general Farzad Esmaili.-History:...

     is a branch split off from the IRIAF
    Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force ' is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed....

    .

  • The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or Revolutionary Guards, has an estimated 120,000 personnel in five branches: Its own Navy, Air Force, and Ground Forces; and the Quds Force (Special Forces
    Special forces
    Special forces, or special operations forces are terms used to describe elite military tactical teams trained to perform high-risk dangerous missions that conventional units cannot perform...

    ).

  • The Basij
    Basij
    The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits...

     is a paramilitary volunteer force controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Its membership is a matter of controversy. Iranian sources claim a membership of 12.6 million, including women, of which perhaps 3 million are combat capable. There are a claimed 2,500 battalions of which some are full-time personnel. Globalsecurity.org
    GlobalSecurity.org
    GlobalSecurity.org, launched in 2000, is a public policy organization focusing on the fields of defense, space exploration, intelligence, weapons of mass destruction and homeland security...

     quotes a 2005 study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies
    Center for Strategic and International Studies
    The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a bipartisan Washington, D.C., foreign policy think tank. The center was founded in 1962 by Admiral Arleigh Burke and Ambassador David Manker Abshire, originally as part of Georgetown University...

     estimating 90,000 active-duty full-time uniformed members, 300,000 reservists, and a total of 11 million men that can be mobilized if need be.


Iran's military was called the Middle East's most powerful by General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 John Abizaid
John Abizaid
John Philip Abizaid, AO is a retired General in the United States Army and former Commander of the United States Central Command , overseeing American military operations in a 27-country region, from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, to South and Central Asia, covering much of the Middle...

 chief of United States Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

 (U.S. forces' commander in the region). However General Abizaid said he did not include the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 as they did not fall into his area of operations.

Modern history



When the Pahlavi dynasty
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

 took power in 1925, following years of war with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the standing Persian army was almost non-existent. The new king Reza Shah Pahlavi
Reza Shah
Rezā Shāh, also known as Rezā Shāh Pahlavi and Rezā Shāh Kabir , , was the Shah of the Imperial State of Iran from December 15, 1925, until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on September 16, 1941.In 1925, Reza Shah overthrew Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar...

, was quick to develop a new military. In part, this involved sending hundreds of officers to European and American military academies. It also involved having foreigners re-train the existing army within Iran. In this period the Iranian Air Force was established and the foundation for a new Navy was laid.

The British and Russians invaded Iran
Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran
The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran was the Allied invasion of the Imperial State of Iran during World War II, by British, Commonwealth, and Soviet armed forces. The invasion from August 25 to September 17, 1941, was codenamed Operation Countenance...

 in 1941. Following World War II, 1500 Iranian troops supported the Sultan of Oman against the Dhofar Rebellion
Dhofar Rebellion
The Dhofar Rebellion was launched in the province of Dhofar against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, which had British support, from 1962 to 1976. It ended with the defeat of the rebels, but the state of Oman had to be radically reformed and modernised to cope with the campaign.-Background:In...

 from 1962-1975. In 1971, Iranian forces besieged Abu Musa and the Tunb islands
Siege of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs
The Seizure of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs occurred on 30 November 1971 when British forces withdrew from the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb...

. Before the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran contributed to United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 peacekeeping operations. Iran joined ONUC in the Congo in the 1960s, and ten years later, Iranian troops joined UNDOF on the Golan Heights.

Several years later Revolutionary Iran was taken by surprise by the Iraqi invasion that began the Iran–Iraq War of 1980-1988. During this conflict, there were several confrontations with the United States. From 1987, the United States Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

 sought to stop Iranian mine-laying
Naval mine
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

 vessels from blocking the international sea lane
Sea lane
A sea lane or shipping lane is a regularly used route for ocean-going and Great Lakes vessels. In the time of sailing ships they were not only determined by the distribution of land masses but also the prevailing winds, whose discovery was crucial for the success of long voyages...

s through the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 in Operation Prime Chance
Operation Prime Chance
Operation Prime Chance was a United States Special Operations Command operation intended to protect U.S.-flagged oil tankers from Iranian attack during the Iran–Iraq War. The operation took place roughly at the same time as Operation Earnest Will , the largely Navy effort to escort the tankers...

. The operation lasted until 1989. On April 18, 1988, the U.S. retaliated for the Iranian mining
Naval mine
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

 of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58)
USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58)
USS Samuel B. Roberts is one of the final ships in the United States Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided missile frigates . The ship was severely damaged by an Iranian mine in 1988, leading U.S. forces to respond with Operation Praying Mantis.-Commissioning and namesake:The frigate was...

 in
Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Praying Mantis was an attack on April 18, 1988, by U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran Iraq war and the subsequent damage to an American warship....

.

A former military-associated police force, the Iranian Gendarmerie, disbanded in 1990.

In 1991, the Iranian armed forces received a number of fleeing Iraqi aircraft which were incorporated into the Air Force. From 2003, there have been repeated U.S. and British allegations that Iranian forces have been covertly involved in the Iraq War. In 2007, Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces also took prisoner
2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel
Iranian military personnel seized 15 Royal Navy personnel during 2007 and held them for 13 days. On 23 March 2007, 15 British Royal Navy personnel, from HMS Cornwall, searching a merchant vessel were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and subsequently detained off the...

 Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 personnel when a boat's party from HMS Cornwall
HMS Cornwall (F99)
The sixth HMS Cornwall was a Batch 3 Type 22 frigate of the British Royal Navy. She was the first Batch 3 to be built, and the last to decommission...

 was seized in Iraq waters.

Iran has launched no wars of choice in modern history, and its leadership adheres to a doctrine of "no first strike
Preemptive war
A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived inevitable offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending war before that threat materializes. It is a war which preemptively 'breaks the peace'. The term: 'preemptive war' is...

." The country's military budget is the lowest per capita in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 region besides the UAE.

Since 1979, there are no foreign military bases present in Iran. According to Article 146 of the Iranian Constitution, the establishment of any foreign military base in the country is forbidden, even for peaceful purposes.

Commanders


  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
    Ali Khamenei
    Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

     (Supreme Leader and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, in Persian: فرمانده کل قوا)

  • General Ahmad Vahidi
    Ahmad Vahidi
    Ahmad Vahidi is an Iranian politician and former commander of the Revolutionary Guards. He is the current Minister of Defense of Iran, having held the post since August 9, 2009.-Early life:...

     (سرتیپ پاسدار احمد وحیدی) (Minister of Defense)
  • General Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi
    Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi
    Major General Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi is the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces. He was appointed as Chief of Staff by Ali Khamenei in 2 November 2002...

     (سرلشگر بسیجی سید حسن فیروزآبادی)(Head of the Armed Forces General Command Headquarters, in Persian: رئیس ستاد کل نیروهای مسلح)
  • Lieutenant General Yahya Rahim Safavi
    Yahya Rahim Safavi
    Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi is an Iranian military commander who served as the Chief commander of the Sepah from September 1, 1997 until September 1, 2007.-Early life:...

     (سردار سرلشکر یحیی رحیم صفوی) (Senior Advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution)
  • Major General Mohammad Hejazi
    Mohammad Hejazi
    General Seyed Mohammad Hejazi is the current commander of Basij, the Iranian paramilitary force that is a major branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.-References:...

     (سرتیپ پاسدار سید محمد حجازی) (Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces)

  • Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    Islamic Republic of Iran Army
    The Islamic Republic of Iran Army is the ground force of the Military of Islamic Republic of Iran. In Iran, it is also called Artesh, which is Persian for "army." As of 2007, the regular Iranian Army was estimated to have 465,000 personnel plus around 350,000 reservists for a total of 815,000...

    • General Ataollah Salehi
      Ataollah Salehi
      General Ataollah Salehi is the current commander-in-chief of the Iranian Army since 2005. He graduated before the Islamic Revolution from the Iranian Army's military academy in 1971 with the rank of Artillery Second Lieutenant of the Army's Ground Forces.He has the direct operational command...

       (امیر سرلشگر عطا الله صالحی)(Commander-in-Chief of the Army, in Persian: فرمانده کل ارتش)
    • General Abdolrahim Mousavi
      Abdolrahim Mousavi
      General Abdolrahim Mousavi is the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Iranian armed forces.He appeared in an interview on Iranian television revealing an analysis of the U.S. military by the Iranian military, and outlined a defense plan in case of an attack on Iran by the United States.-External links:*...

       (امیر سرتیپ عبدالرحیم موسوی) (Chief of the Joint Headquarter of the Army)
    • General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan ( امیر سرتیپ احمدرضا پور دستان) (Commander of the Ground Force)
    • General Hassan Shahsafi (امیر سرتیپ حسن شاه صفی) (Commander of the Air Force)
    • General Farzad Esmaili (امیر سرتیپ فرزاد اسماعیلی) (Commander of Air Defense)
    • Admiral Habibollah Sayyari (دریادار حبیب الله سیاری) (Commander of the Navy)
  • IRGC
    Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
    The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution , often called Revolutionary Guards, is a branch of Iran's military, founded after the Iranian revolution...

    • Lieutenant General Mohammad Ali Jafari
      Mohammad Ali Jafari
      General Mohammad Ali Jafari is the commander of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. He was appointed by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, on September 1, 2007, to succeed Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi....

       (سردار سرلشکر محمدعلی جعفری)(Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC, in Persian: فرمانده کل سپاه پاسداران)
    • Major General Hossein Salami (سرتیپ پاسدار حسین سلامی) (Chief of the Joint Staff of the IRGC)
    • Major General Mohammad Pakvar (سرتیپ پاسدار محمد پاکپور) (Commander of IRGC Ground Force)
    • Major General Amir Ali Hajizadeh (سرتیپ پاسدار امیرعلی حاجیزاده) (Commander of IRGC Air Force)
    • Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi (دریادار پاسدار علی فدوی) (Commander of IRGC Navy)
    • Major General Qassem Soleimani (سرتیپ پاسدار قاسم سلیمانی) (Commander of Quds Force)
    • Major General Mohammad Reza Naghdi (سرتیپ پاسدار محمدرضا نقدی) (Commander of Basij
      Basij
      The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits...

       forces)

  • Iranian Police
    • Major General Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moghaddam (سرتیپ پاسدار اسماعیل احمدی‌مقدم) (Commander-in-Chief of the Police, in Persian: فرمانده کل نیروی انتظامی)

Budget




Iran's 2007 defense budget was estimated to be $7.31 billion by London's International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies
The International Institute for Strategic Studies is a British research institute in the area of international affairs. It describes itself as "the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict"...

. This was $102 per capita, a lower figure than other Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 nations and lower as a percentage of gross national product than all other Persian Gulf states (2.6% of GDP in 2007). This makes Iran's ranking the 25th largest defense expenditure globally.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute the 2008 military expenditure was $9.174 billion, 2.7% of the GDP.

Defense industry


Under the last Shah of Iran
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

, Iran's military industry was limited to assembly of foreign weapons. In the assembly lines that were put up by American firms, such as Bell
Bell Helicopter Textron
Bell Helicopter is an American rotorcraft manufacturer headquartered in Hurst, Texas, near Fort Worth. A division of Textron, Bell manufactures military helicopter and tiltrotor products in and around Fort Worth, as well as in Amarillo, Texas, and commercial rotorcraft products in Mirabel, Quebec,...

, Litton
Litton Industries
Named after inventor Charles Litton, Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001.-History:...

 and Northrop
Northrop Corporation
Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...

, Iranian workers put together a variety of helicopters, aircraft, guided missiles, electronic components and tanks.
In 1973 the Iran Electronics Industries (IEI)
Iran Electronics Industries (IEI)
Iran Electronics Industries is a state-owned subsidiary of Iran's Defense Industries Organization...

 was established. The company was set up in a first attempt to organize the assembly and repair of foreign-delivered weapons. The Iranian Defense Industries Organization
Defense Industries Organization
The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization The Defense Industries Organization (DIO; Persian: Sasadjah (Sazemane Sanaye Defa) is a conglomerate of companies run by the Islamic Republic of Iran whose function is to provide the military of Iran with the necessary...

 was the first to succeed in taking a step into what could be called a military industry by reverse engineering Soviet RPG-7
RPG-7
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally the RPG-7 and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company...

, BM-21, and SAM-7 missiles in 1979.

Nevertheless, most of Iran's weapons before the Islamic revolution were imported from the United States and Europe. Between 1971 and 1975, the Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

 went on a buying spree, ordering $8 billion in weapons from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 alone. This alarmed the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, which strengthened a 1968 law on arms exports in 1976 and renamed it the Arms Export Control Act. Still, the United States continued to sell large amounts of weapons to Iran until the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

After the Islamic revolution, Iran found itself severely isolated and lacking technological expertise. Because of economic sanctions and a weapons embargo put on Iran by the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Iran was forced to rely on its domestic arms industry for weapons and spare parts since there were very few countries willing to
do business with Iran.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards were put in charge of creating what is today known as the Iranian military industry
Iranian military industry
Iran's military industry has taken great strides in the past 25 years, and now manufactures many types of arms and equipments. According to Iranian officials, the country sold $100 million worth of military equipment in 2003. and as of 2006 had exported weapons to 57 countries...

. Under their command Iran's military industry was enormously expanded, and with the Ministry of Defense pouring investment into the missile industry, Iran soon accumulated a vast arsenal of missiles.
Since 1992, it also has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, radar systems, guided missiles, submarines, military vessels and fighter planes.

In recent years, official announcements have highlighted the development of weapons such as the Fajr-3 (MIRV), Hoot
Hoot (missile)
Hoot is an Iranian supercavitation torpedo that travels at approximately 360 km/h, several times faster than a conventional torpedo. It was test-fired successfully from a surface ship against a dummy submarine during the Iranian military exercise "Great Prophet" ) on 2 April 2006 and 3 April...

, Kowsar
Kowsar
Kowsar is a medium-range, land-based anti-ship missile made by Iran. It can defeat electronic jamming systems and "cannot be thrown off course", according to Iranian officials....

, Fateh-110
Fateh-110
The Fateh-110 , is a single-stage solid-propellant, surface-to-surface missile with at least a 200 km range, and it is produced domestically within Iran, including the solid fuel propellant. The Aerospace Industries Organization is capable of producing many types of liquid and solid propellants...

, Shahab-3
Shahab-3
The Shahab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by Iran and based on the Nodong-1. The Shahab-3 has a range of ; a MRBM variant can now reach...

 missile systems and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, at least one of which Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 claims has been used to spy on its territory. In 2006, an Iranian UAV acquired and allegedly tracked the American aircraft carrier for 25 minutes without being detected before returning safely to its base.

Ballistic program



On November 2, 2006, Iran fired unarmed missiles to begin 10 days of military simulation
Military simulation
Military simulations, also known informally as war games, are simulations in which theories of warfare can be tested and refined without the need for actual hostilities. Many professional contemporary analysts object to the term wargames as this is generally taken to be referring to the civilian...

s. Iranian state television reported "dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2
Shahab-2
The Shahab-2 is the successor to the Iranian Shahab-1 missile.The missile has a CEP of 50 m. On November 2, 2006, Iran fired unarmed missiles to begin 10 days of military simulations. Iranian state television reported "dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles...

 and Shahab-3
Shahab-3
The Shahab-3 is a medium-range ballistic missile developed by Iran and based on the Nodong-1. The Shahab-3 has a range of ; a MRBM variant can now reach...

 missiles. The missiles had ranges from 300 km to up to 2,000 km. Iranian experts have made some changes to Shahab-3 missiles installing cluster warhead
Warhead
The term warhead refers to the explosive material and detonator that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo.- Etymology :During the early development of naval torpedoes, they could be equipped with an inert payload that was intended for use during training, test firing and exercises. This...

s in them with the capacity to carry 1,400 bombs." These launches come after some United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-led military exercises in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 on October 30, 2006, meant to train for blocking the transport of weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

.
Iran is also believed to have started the development of an ICBM/IRBM missile project, known as Ghadr-110
Ghadr-110
The Ghadr-110 is a medium-range ballistic missile designed and developed by Iran. The missile has a range of 2,500 km to 3,000 km. The Iranian Armed Forces first displayed the missile to the public at an annual military parade to mark the Iran-Iraq war.The Ghadr-110 is an improved version of the...

 with a range of 3000 km; the program is paralleled with advancement of a satellite launcher named IRIS.

Weapons of mass destruction


Iran ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Iranian troops and civilians suffered tens of thousands of casualties from Iraqi chemical weapons provided by western countries during the 1980-88 Iran–Iraq War. As a result, Iran has publicly stood against the use of chemical weapons, making numerous vitriolic comments against Iraq's use of such weapons in international forums.

Even today, more than eighteen years after the end of the Iran–Iraq War, about 30,000 Iranians are still suffering and dying from the effects of chemical weapons employed by Iraq during the war. The need to manage the treatment of such a large number of casualties has placed Iran’s medical specialists in the forefront of the development of effective treatment regimes for chemical weapons victims, and particularly for those suffering from exposure to mustard gas.

Iran ratified the Biological weapons Convention in 1973. Iran has advanced biological and genetic engineering research programs supporting an industry that produces vaccines for both domestic use and export.

See also



Further reading

Alain Rodier, The Iranian Menace, French Centre for Research on Intelligence, January 2007 - Order of Battle, stratégy, asymmetric warfare, intelligence services, state terrorism. Includes detailed order of battle for both regular army and Revolutionary Guard
  • Anthony H. Cordesman, Iran's Military Forces in Transition: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, ISBN 0-275-96529-5
  • 'Iranian exercise reveals flaws in air defences,' Jane's Defence Weekly
    Jane's Defence Weekly
    Jane's Defence Weekly is a weekly magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, edited by Peter Felstead. It is one of a number of military-related publications named after John F. T. Jane, an Englishman who first published Jane's All the World's Fighting Ships in 1898...

    , 9 December 2009

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