Iran

The Iranian Revolution of 1979 led to the removal of the Western-backed Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini. Since that time, the country has taken increasingly anti-Western positions, while imposing Islamic theocracy and emerging as the leading state sponsor of terrorism. During the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), hundreds of thousands were killed and several clashes occurred between the U.S. and Iranian naval fleets. Under a new supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, Iran successfully repressed anti-government protests following the 2009 presidential elections, which were widely derided as fraudulent. Iran emerged as a regional power in the wake of the U.S. led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The changed balance of power is one of the main drivers of instability in the region. Iran is currently under severe international sanctions for developing an illicit nuclear weapons program. The regime has sent financing and even personnel to preserve the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, who is currently fighting to maintain control of the country. Iran sponsors various terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Additionally, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is both a strategic decision maker and agent of the regime’s quest for regional hegemony.

  • Military EXHD
    2.5% of GDP
  • Fit for Service
    39,566,497
  • GDP
    $387.6 Billion
  • Population
    81,824,270

Deep in Yemen war, Saudi fight against Iran falters

At a hospital in the Yemeni city of Marib, demand for artificial limbs from victims of the country’s war is so high that prosthetics are made on site in a special workshop. A soldier with an artificial arm hitches up his robe to reveal a stump where his leg once was. He is angry that authorities have done little to help him since he was wounded. “I was at the front and a mortar exploded near me. We fought well, but now I get no salary, no support from the government or anyone. They just left us,” said Hassan Meigan.

Iran’s Velayati says east Syria, Idlib to be cleared ‘soon’

The top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader said he expects the Syrian army to soon recapture rebel-held Idlib province, as well as eastern Syria, an area where U.S.-backed militias hold swathes of territory. Iran is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Iranian official, Ali Akbar Velayati, was speaking in Aleppo, from which the Syrian army drove rebels after a siege last year with help from Tehran. The military alliance backing Assad, which also includes Russia and Shi‘ite Muslim militias, has this year focused on the war in central and eastern Syria against Islamic State (IS) militants.

U.S. calls for U.N. action against Iran over Yemen missile

The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with a missile that was fired into Saudi Arabia in July and called for the United Nations to hold Tehran accountable for violating two U.N. Security Council resolutions. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said information released by Saudi Arabia showed the missile fired in July was an Iranian Qiam, which she described as “a type of weapon that had not been present in Yemen before the conflict.”

Iranian Drone Buzzes U.S. Fighter Jet Over Persian Gulf

An unarmed Iranian drone buzzed an American Super Hornet fighter jet as it circled an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, Defense Department officials said on Tuesday. A statement released by the military’s Central Command said that despite repeated radio calls demanding that Iran keep the drone clear of American flight operations in the vicinity of the […]

Assessing the Latest Iranian Ballistic Missile: The Zulfiqar

Iran’s Armed Forces on Thursday concluded their celebration of “Sacred Defense Week” – the annual commemoration of the first week of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. The week featured military parades showcasing the latest in domestically produced weapons, chief among them ballistic missiles – of which Iran has the Middle East’s largest arsenal. This year, Tehran’s […]

Understanding Iran’s Deployment of the S-300 System

Iranian outlets this week reportedly revealed that components of Iran’s first Russian-made S-300 missile system were positioned around the Fordow fuel enrichment plant – an underground bunker which, until recently, was used for uranium enrichment. The long-range surface-to-air (SAM) system represents Iran’s newest and most advanced air-defense platform. Its deployment to Fordow sheds light on […]

The Mideast’s Precision Guided Arms Race

Precision guided munitions (PGMs) encompass a growing range of bombs and missiles designed to destroy targets on land, at sea, or in the air. While platforms like fighters, armored vehicles, and warships often receive more attention, their lethality is almost negligible if not bolstered by advanced munitions. With minor updates, today’s PGMs allow even older […]

Tracker: Israeli Strikes in Syria

As the Syrian Civil War rages, Israel has conducted a number of sporadic strikes inside the war-torn country.  These strikes are to enforce Israel’s so-called “red line” in Syria, which includes transfers of sophisticated weapon systems to Hezbollah in Lebanon and threats along its border. View the full screen map here. (Last updated January 13, 2017 […]

Europe’s Missile Shield and Iran’s Capabilities

On December 18, the same week UN experts declared that Iran’s October test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile was a violation of this summer’s nuclear deal, Washington announced the completion of an advanced missile defense facility in Romania. It is designed, among other things, to defend Europe against Tehran’s increasing missile capabilities. The step […]

Off-Target: The Folly of Removing Sanctions on Iran’s Ballistic Missiles

UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrines the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement, stipulates that restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles will expire eight years after the deal’s implementation. This expiration date is a strategic blunder. Permanent relief for ballistic missiles will allow Iran to not only reinforce its deterrent capacity, but to […]

Making Sense of Iranian S-300s

Iran has a long history of disrupting maritime traffic in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf, but should a recently resurrected deal between Russia and Iran for the S-300 surface-to-air missile (SAM) bear fruit, Tehran could soon project the same hostility into the skies. Despite assurances from Russia’s Foreign Minister that “[t]he S-300 is exclusively […]

Category Name
QME

Active Armaments
On Order
Air Defense Systems 1,783* (2*)

Aircraft 708* (37)

Artillery 3,901* (0)

Ground Vehicles 3,090* (0)

Guided Munitions 17,531* (320*)

Personnel 873,000 (0)

Ships 203* (1)