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 […]

U.S. Backs Saudi Claim about Iranian Missile Support to Yemeni Rebels

Regional tensions escalated as Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for an attempted missile strike on its capital by Yemeni rebels. On November 4, Saudi defenses intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels (also known as Ansar Allah) at a Riyadh airport. President Trump quickly endorsed Saudi claims of Iranian responsibility, telling reporters, “A shot was just taken by Iran, […]

Missing the Point on Iran’s Ballistic Missiles

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told a defense exposition this month that his country would “not seek the permission of anyone” to build missiles, affirming “a need for vigilance” against perceived foreign aggression. Yet the Islamic Republic’s diverse missile arsenal has enabled it to engage in belligerence and subversion abroad for over three decades. That’s why […]

Iran’s Missile Launch is Test for New Administration

Iran reportedly fired two ballistic missiles this weekend, the first alleged ballistic missile test since the Trump administration put the Islamic Republic “on notice” a month ago. On Thursday morning, an Iranian official said the projectile was a Hormuz-2 anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). A return to ballistic missile testing, whether covert or overt, signals Tehran […]

Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests Since the Nuclear Deal

Since the July 2015 announcement of the nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has tested as many as 14 ballistic missiles. This number is based on aggregated open-source reporting, as no official government or United Nations numbers have been made available to the public. Although the deal did not address […]

Iran’s Maritime Mirage

Iran is doing enough damage in the Middle East through unconventional methods without requiring a robust navy. That is why an idea floated by a key Iranian military leader to build naval bases in Yemen and Syria makes absolutely no sense. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of Iran’s armed forces general staff, suggested last month that […]

Iran Tightens Military Ties with China

Iranian and Chinese security officials signed a military-cooperation agreement this week to establish a joint commission to boost defense ties. Since the 1979 Islamic revolution and the subsequent severing of U.S. military assistance, Tehran has relied on Chinese arms to supplement its defense industry. This week’s agreement, however, will significantly bolster ties that for decades […]

Iranian-backed Houthis Fire a Shot at the U.S. Navy

While the United States was fixated on the second presidential debate on Sunday night, one of its ships was under fire in the Middle East. Details remain few, but reports suggest that the Houthis, a Yemeni militant group backed by Iran, fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Mason as it patrolled the Bab el-Mandeb […]

Discerning Iran’s Role in Expanding Houthi Rocket Capabilities

Yemen’s Houthi rebels tested a new rocket last Thursday, marking the fourth new projectile they unveiled this year. Dubbed the Somoud, or “steadfastness,” the projectile’s launch was broadcast late last week across Arab and Iranian media. While observers were quick to point fingers at Tehran, based on its established track record of arming the Houthis, […]

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)