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

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 […]

A Russian-Backed Deal on ‘Safe Zones’ for Syria Leaves U.S. Wary

Russia, Iran and Turkey said Thursday that they have agreed to create “de-escalation zones” across four areas in Syria, renewing diplomatic ­efforts to bring warring parties in the country to heel after six years of fighting. Meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, the three powers said the cease-fire deal would come into force Saturday and would apply to […]

IRGC Navy Receives Nasir Anti-Ship Missiles

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) formally took delivery of the first consignment of the new Nasir anti-ship missile during a ceremony held on 22 April. Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said the Nasir can be mounted on speedboats, prepared quickly for launch, flies at a low flight altitude, and has an advanced radar system […]

US to Increase Support for Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen to Resist ‘Iran’s Mischief’

The United States is looking to increase support for the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen with intelligence-sharing and logistical support but it will not send American troops to combat the Iranian-backed fighters, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during a visit to Saudi Arabia accused Iran of playing a destabilizing role […]

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, […]

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 […]

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)