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Iran Domestic Arms Production
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    In 1963 Iran placed all military factories under the Military Industries Organization (MIO) of the Ministry of War. Over the next fifteen years, military plants produced small arms ammunition, batteries, tires, copper products, explosives, and mortar rounds and fuses. They also produced rifles and machine guns under West German license. In addition, helicopters, jeeps, trucks, and trailers were assembled from imported kits. Iran was on its way to manufacturing rocket launchers, rockets, gun barrels, and grenades, when the Revolution halted all military activities. The MIO, plagued by the upheavals of the time, was unable to operate without foreign specialists and technicians; by 1981 it had lost much of its management ability and control over its industrial facilities.

    The outbreak of hostilities with Iraq and the Western arms embargo served as catalysts for reorganizing, reinvigorating, and expanding defense industries. In late 1981, the revolutionary government brought together the country's military industrial units and placed them under the Defense Industries Organization (DIO), which would supervise production activities. In 1987 the DIO was governed by a mixed civilian-military board of directors and a managing director responsible for the actual management and planning activities. Although the DIO director was accountable to the deputy minister of defense for logistics, Iran's president, in his capacity as the chairman of the SDC, had ultimate responsibility for all DIO operations.

    By 1986 a large number of infantry rifles, machine guns, and mortars and some small-arms ammunition were being manufactured locally. On several occasions, clerics delivering their Friday sermons in Tehran claimed that Iran was engaged in a full-scale military production program, and the Iranian press regularly reported the successful production of new items ranging from washers to helicopter fuselage parts. For example, the professional military displayed, at the Permanent Industrial Exhibition in Tehran, a collection of hermetic sealing cylinders for Chieftain tanks and artillery flame-deflectors with artillery pads. They also displayed Katyusha gauges, personnel carrier shafts, gears, gun pulleys, carriages for 50mm caliber guns, 155mm shells, bases for night-vision telescopic rifles, parts for G-3 rifles, various firing pins, and flash suppressors for 130mm guns.

    In 1987 the military took pride in being able to repair various transmitters, receivers, and helicopter engines. A number of unverified reports also alluded to the repair of the testing equipment of F-14 hydraulic pressure transmitters and generators. Similarly, Iran claimed to have manufactured an undisclosed number of Oghab rockets, probably patterned on the Soviet-made Scud-B surface-to-surface missiles the Iranians received from Libya. In mid-1984 the navy claimed to have successfully repaired the gas turbines of several vessels in Bandar-e Abbas. Moreover, Pasdaran units reportedly repaired Soviet- and Polish-made T-54, T-55, T-62, and T-72 tanks, captured from the Iraqis in 1982, at their armor repair center.

    The monopoly of the regular armed forces over domestic arms production and repair industries ended in 1983 when the SDC authorized the Pasdaran to establish its own military industries. This new policy was in line with the Pasdaran's growing political and military weight. Beginning in 1984, the first Pasdaran armaments factory manufactured 120mm mortars, antipersonnel grenades, various antichemical-warfare equipment, antitank rockets, and rocket-propelled grenades.

    Data as of December 1987

    NOTE: The information regarding Iran on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iran Domestic Arms Production information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iran Domestic Arms Production should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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