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

Iran Unveils Guided 333 mm Artillery Rocket

The Iranian Ministry of Defence unveiled a range of new weapons on 6 February, the most potentially significant being a guided version of the 333 mm Fajr-5 artillery rocket. The unguided Fajr-5 is already in service with Iranian-backed militant groups Hizbullah and Hamas, which could use a guided version to carry out more accurate attacks […]

U.S. Weighs Terror Label on Iran Revolutionary Guard, Muslim Brotherhood

The Trump administration is considering executive actions that would designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and the Muslim Brotherhood, an influential movement across the Middle East, as terrorist organizations, people familiar with the discussions said. A decision to target either of the two groups would mark a significant expansion of U.S. sanctions against Islamist organizations in the […]

Trump Puts Iran ‘on Notice’ After Ballistic Missile Test

President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration has put Iran “on notice,” echoing comments from his top national security adviser that the U.S. will act against Iran unless it stops testing ballistic missiles and supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen. Trump and his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, didn’t elaborate on what retaliatory actions the U.S. […]

Iran Tests Ballistic Missile in Defiance of UN Resolution, US Officials Say

Iran conducted its first ballistic missile test under Donald Trump’s presidency, in yet another apparent violation of a United Nations resolution, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday. The launch occurred Sunday at a well-known test site outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran, Fox News was first to learn. The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile […]

Iran to Expand Military Spending, Develop Missiles

Iranian lawmakers approved plans on Monday to expand military spending to five percent of the budget, including developing the country’s long-range missile program which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to halt. The vote is a boost to Iran’s military establishment – the regular army, the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and defense ministry […]

In Israeli Military, Guarded Optimism for 2017

While war will continue to rage in much of the region writ large, Israeli military forecasts for 2017 are cautiously optimistic that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may get through the year that began Sunday without having to wage major combat operations. “The probability for war in 2017, generally speaking, is low,” a senior defense […]

Iranian Vessel Points Weapon at U.S. Helicopter: Officials

A small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon at a U.S. military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, two U.S. defense officials told Reuters on Monday, an action they described as “unsafe and unprofessional.” The incident is the latest in a series of similar actions by Iranian vessels this year, but […]

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)