Military of Iran

Military of Iran

Infobox National Military
name=Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran


**Ground Forces
**Ground Forces
**Air Force
**Quds Force
commander-in-chief= Âyatollâh Ali Khamenei
commander-in-chief_title=Supreme Commander
amount=$6.3 billion (2005)
percent_GDP=3.5% (2005)
domestic_suppliers=Defense Industries Organization
Iran Aviation Industries Organization
Iran Electronics Industries (IEI)
history=Military history of Iran
Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran
Dhofar Rebellion
Siege of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs
Iran–Iraq War
Operation Praying Mantis
Operation Prime Chance
Air Force Ranks Insignia

Army Ranks Insignia

Navy Ranks Insignia

IRGC Ranks Insignia
The Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( _fa. نيروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ايران) include the IRIA ( _fa. ارتش جمهوری اسلامی ایران) , the IRGC ( _fa. سپاه پاسداران انقلاب اسلامی), and the Police Force [ [ سایت اطلاع رسانی نیروی انتظامی جمهوری اسلامی ایران ] ] ( _fa. نيروی انتظامی جمهوری اسلامی ایران).

These forces total about 545,000 active personnel (not including the Police Force).IISS Military Balance 2006, Routledge for the IISS, London, 2006, p.187] 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 is responsible for planning logistics and funding of the armed forces and is not involved in in-the-field military operational command.

*The Iranian Military consists of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. The regular armed forces have an estimated 420,000 personnel: the Islamic Republic of Iran Army, 350,000 personnel; the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, 18,000 personnel; and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, 52,000 airmen.

*The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or Revolutionary Guards, has an estimated 125,000 personnel in five branches: Its own Navy, Air Force, and Ground Forces; and the Quds Force (Special Forces).

*The Basij 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. [IISS Military Balance 2008, p.244] quotes a 2005 study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimating 90,000 active-duty full-time uniformed members, 300,000 reservists, and a total of 1 million men that can be mobilized if need be. [, [] ]

Iran's military was called the Middle East's most powerful by General John Abizaid chief of United States Central Command (U.S. forces' commander in the region). However he did not include the Israel Defense Forces as it did not fall in his area of operations. [ [ Iran Favors Asymmetric Strategy In Joust With US ] ]


With thousands of years of recorded history, and due to an unchanging geographic (and subsequently geopolitical) condition , Iran (previously known as Persia in the West until 1935) has had a long, varied, and checkered military culture and history, ranging from triumphant and unchallenged ancient military supremacy affording effective superpower status in its day, to a series of near catastrophic defeats (beginning with the destruction of Elam) at the hand of previously subdued peripheral nations (including Greece, Arabia, and the Asiatic nomadic tribes at the Eastern boundary of the lands traditionally home to the Iranian people).

In its time, Iran has rapidly dispatched ancient powers such as Babylon; its kings have sat enthroned as Pharaoh in Egypt; repeatedly held off, sometimes defeated, the otherwise successful armies of Rome (most memorably recording the submissive demeanor of a captured Roman Caesar), although its capitol was sacked by Trajan and it probably survived as an independent nation due to disinterest in affairs so far east for Romans. Certainly Julius Caesar would have conquered it if he had not been murdered 3 days before he was about to set out; and apparently affected even a presumably hostile Greek historian to dedicate an entire book considering in detail the pseudo-military culture of the ancient Persians of Shahanshah Darius the Great.

Iranian military actions and martial culture have also left Iran with a rich legacy of contributions to military arts, weapons, tactics, strategy, and conduct of the mankind. Expeditions entailed crossings of entire armies from Asia to Europe over military bridges constructed by extending a floating platform of ships from the Asian land mass to Europe.

One of the earliest and most effective manifestations of light cavalry equipped with stand-off weapons were the bow and arrow equipped Parthian Cavalry.

The first Knights complete with shining armor and plumed helmets were Sassanid Iranian nobles, and European heraldry is directly traceable to the Iranian Knights and overall culture of (lone) heroes and mythic figures such as Rostam, Zal, Bahram, etc.

And it was the sovereign head of the Iranian Army that marched un-opposed into Babylon that decreed the first codec of the rights of conquered people and nations.

And this is the same country that suffered completely unexpected and decisive defeats at the hands of Alexander the Great, and later Muslim Arabs, seemingly at the height of its might. And later on felt the full force of the brutally violent and destructive West-ward Mongol tribes.

Combat history and operations

Combat history and operations
* Anglo-Soviet Invasion of Iran (1941).
* Dhofar Rebellion (1962-1975). 1500 Iranian troops supported the Sultan of Oman against an insurrection.
* Siege of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs (1971).
* Iran–Iraq War (1980-1988).
* Operation Praying Mantis (April 18, 1988). The U.S. retaliation for the Iranian mining of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58).
* Operation Prime Chance (1987-1989). The U.S. operation to stop Iranian mine-laying vessels from blocking the international sea lanes through the Persian Gulf.


*Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Supreme Leader and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, in Persian: فرمانده کل قوا)
*Major General Hasan Firuzabadi (Head of the Armed Forces General Command Headquarters, in Persian: رئیس ستاد کل نیروهای مسلح)
*Army (Artesh)
**Major General Ataollah Salehi (Commander-in-Chief of the Army, in Persian: فرمانده کل ارتش)
**Brigadier General Abdolrahim Mousavi (Chief of the Joint Staff of the Army)
**Brigadier General Mohammad-Hossein Dadress (Commander of the Ground Force)
**Brigadier General Ahmad Mighani (Commander of the Air Force)
**Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari (Commander of the Navy)
**Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari (Commander-in-Chief of the IRGC, in Persian: فرمانده کل سپاه پاسداران)
**Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi (Chief of the Joint Staff of the IRGC) [ [ Iran’s top military commanders die in plane crash] ]
**Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Zahedi (Commander of IRGC Ground Force) [ ] ]
**Brigadier General Hossein Salami (Commander of IRGC Air Force)
**Rear Admiral Morteza Saffari (Commander of IRGC Navy) [ [ Iran to hold large-scale naval war games] ]
**Brigadier General Mohammad Hejazi (Commander of Basij forces) [ [ Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij Mobilisation Resistance Force] ]
**Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani (Commander of Quds Force) [ [ Iran Revolutionary Guards expect key changes in high command] ]
*Iranian Police
**Brigadier General Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moghaddam (Commander-in-Chief of the Police, in Persian: فرمانده کل نیروی انتظامی)
*Rear Admiral Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar (Minister of Defense, in Persian: وزیر دفاع و پشتیبانی نیروهای مسلح)


Iran's 2005 defense budget was estimated to be $6 billion by London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. This was $91 per capita, a lower figure than other Persian Gulf nations, and lower as a percentage of gross national product than all other Gulf states except the United Arab Emirates. [ [ Iran's defense spending 'a fraction of Persian Gulf neighbors' ] ]

Defense industry

Under the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, 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, Litton and Northrop, Iranian workers put together a variety of helicopters, aircraft, guided missiles, electronic components and tanks. [ Dar Al Hayat ] ]

In 1973 the Iran Electronics Industries (IEI) was established. [ [] ] The company was set up in a first attempt to organize the assembly and repair of foreign-delivered weapons. [ NTI: Country Overviews: Iran: Missile Chronology ] ] The Iranian Defense Industries Organization was the first to succeed in taking a step into what could be called a military industry by reverse engineering Soviet RPG-7, BM21, 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 went on a buying spree, ordering $8 billion in weapons from the United States alone. This alarmed the United States Congress, 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. [ [ A Code of Conduct for Weapons Sales Video Transcript ] ]

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, 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. [ [ Procurement: November 3, 2004 ] ] The Islamic Revolutionary Guards were put in charge of creating what is today known as the Iranian military industry. 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, guided missiles, submarines, and a fighter plane. [ [,2933,156160,00.html - Iran Launches Production of Stealth Sub - U.S. & World ] ]

In recent years, official announcements have highlighted the development of weapons such as the Fajr-3 (MIRV), Hoot, Kowsar, Fateh-110, Shahab-3 missile systems and a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles, at least one of which Israel claims has been used to spy on Israel. [British Broadcasting Corporation, [ Hezbollah drone flies over Israel] , 7 December 2004] In 2006, Iran spied on the American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for 25 minutes without being detected before returning safely to its base. [ [ 5 minutes video] ] [RIAN, [ Iranian drone plane buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf] , May 30, 2006] [ [ Iran Uses UAV To Watch US Aircraft Carrier On Gulf Patrol ] ]

Ballistic Programs

On November 2, 2006, Iran fired unarmed missiles to begin 10 days of military war games. Iranian state television reported "dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles. The missiles had ranges from 300 km to up to 1300 km. Iranian experts have made some changes to Shahab-3 missiles installing cluster warheads in them with the capacity to carry 1,400 bombs." These launches come after some United States-led military exercises in the Persian Gulf on October 30, 2006, meant to train for blocking the transport of weapons of mass destruction [ [] Dead link|date=February 2008] .Iran is also believed to have started the development of an ICBM/IRBM missile project Fact|date=July 2008, known as Ghadr-110 with a range of more than 3000 km; the program is paralleled with advancement of a satellite launcher named IRIS.

Weapons of mass destruction

Israel and some western nations have alleged that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. [ [ BBC NEWS | Middle East | Q&A: Iran and the nuclear issue ] ] The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency, in its February 2006 report on Iran's nuclear program, said it had no evidence of this. Recently, the United States of America released an intelligence report that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not developing a nuclear detonation device. However Iran is currently attempting to create the radioactive fuel that could potentially be used in a nuclear weapon [ [,12858,1304406,00.html 'No proof' of Iranian nuclear weapons programme | World news | ] ] [ [] ]

Iran ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Iranian troops and civilians suffered tens of thousands of casualties from Iraqi chemical weapons 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. [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, [] ]

Iran ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1973. [ [ Signatories of the Biological Weapons Convention] ] Iran has advanced biology and genetic engineering research programs supporting an industry that produces world-class vaccines for both domestic use and export.Cite web|url=|title=Razi Institute produces dlrs 100 m worth of vaccines, serums a year |accessdate = 2006-04-22] The dual-use nature of these facilities mean that Iran, like any country with advanced biological research programs, could easily produce biological warfare agents.


ee also

*The Islamic Republic of Iran
*Current Equipment of the Iranian Army
*Current Iranian Navy vessels
*List of Iranian Air Force aircraft

External links

* [ Iran Military pictures and video]
* [ The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force - IRIAF]
* [ Defense Industries Organization]
* [ Iran Electronics Industries]
* [ Iranian Aerospace Industries Organization]
* [ Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company]
* [ News on Iranian Military plus Iran Military Pictures and videos]
*Air University, [ Bibliography on Iran's military strategy]
* [ Iran's military forces - Center for Strategic and International Studies]
* [ Defense Iran Video Clip]

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