With the approach of October 18 and the time allotted under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, of which the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is an endorsement, Iran’s arms embargo must be lifted no later than five years after the signing of the nuclear agreement. This has become one of the most important political issues in the world in recent days, and it should be noted that the Zionist regime and the United States have made great efforts to renew these sanctions and restrictions on Iran’s arms trade. The latest move was to present to the Security Council a draft resolution calling for an indefinite extension of Iran’s arms embargo in a bid to prevent the country from entering the conventional arms market.
The end of Iran’s arms embargo may mean for some that after years of restrictions and sanctions, Iran could enter the market and purchase very advanced and state-of-the-art military equipment, or, like some countries in the West Asian region and at great expense, Iran would enter an endless competition to procure military equipment and become a destination for the world’s largest arms factories. However, a very significant issue that should not be overlooked here is that the people of Islamic Iran, due to the country’s needs and in order to defend themselves under all restrictions and sanctions since the eight-year imposed war and thereafter, have come to believe that no one will help the country along this path. Hence, with confidence and self-reliance and using the existing capacities, they have obtained noteworthy achievements that not only have met the country’s needs in these forty years and have served as an active deterrence and exemplary security for our country in this most troubled region of the world, but could also compete with the most advanced foreign models in the global market.
Global trade in military equipment is currently one of the most profitable markets in the world economy, which, according to the latest statistics and information released by Stockholm International Peace Institute, has continued with an ascending growth and now makes up a substantial portion of exports from industrialized countries such as the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and China.
Our country’s officials have always emphasized the peaceful nature of Iran’s defense capabilities, and in practice, it has been proven that these capabilities have contributed to security and peace in the troubled region of West Asia. Through global trade, and in order to strengthen our allies, Iran can export these efficient defense products, and make a great profit from this trade besides contributing to the development of the said countries’ defense sectors.
We will now take a look at some of the most significant Iranian-made defense products, which can be included in the basket of Iran’s military equipment export, and because of their features, capabilities and affordable price, they can attract the attention of their potential buyers and help the country benefit from this highly profitable global market.
The missile defense sector is one of the most important areas that the Islamic Republic of Iran became involved in after the imposed war and in response to the need that was felt for it. Today, the country is known as one of the largest producers of cruise, ballistic, and guided missiles in the world and as one of the owners of a prolific missile industry, it can meet the needs of other countries to this highly advanced equipment.
Iran’s missile products are very diverse in nature and can attract international buyers. These products have already proved their efficiency in various operations against ISIL terrorist groups and the US military base in Ayn al-Assad. Some of the most notable examples of Iranian-made missiles include Shahab, Fateh 110, Qiam, Zelzal, Fateh 313, Zolfaghar, Hormoz, Ghadr, Emad, Sajil, Khorramshahr, Dezful, Fateh Mobin and Raad-500. For cruise missiles, Hoveyzeh, Nasr, and Ghased-3 are some very good examples of advanced Iranian-made military equipment that could take up a share in the global arms market.
Marine military equipment
Although the United States, Germany, and Russia are among the leaders in the marine military equipment sector and their products have many buyers worldwide, Iran, too, has been able to achieve some very good results in these years, developing equipment that could attract its own special buyers given its pricing and high capabilities. Although Iran is relatively new to the design and construction of submarines, the country’s defense industry has been able to domestically manufacture Ghadir and Fateh submarines, each of which has special capabilities and can compete well with similar foreign models.
In the field of surface vessels, Iran has made stunning progress, including the development of Sahand, Jamaran, and Damavand destroyers. These destroyers have a fair amount of appeal for international buyers with their ability to perform surface, anti-surface, anti-submarine, and anti-aircraft operations, as well as having high durability at sea and the capability of carrying helicopters, as seen in Sahand destroyer, and not to mention their high thrust speed.
High-speed boats such as Zolfaghar, Zuljanah, Seraj, and Shahid Nazeri are Iran’s other trump cards in the marine defense sector, the export of which, at the discretion of the authorities, can generate great profits for the country’s defense industry.
Iranian drones a serious rival to foreign models
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) sector is another opportunity for Iran after the end of the arms embargo in October this year. According to Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, as well as officials of the Ministry of Defense, Iran is the number one drone power in the region and one of the top four countries in the world, which as a result, can also give the country a good opportunity for exports. Of course, due to various applications of UAVs in different industries, Iranian drones can attract buyers who need them for research, scientific, and other such purposes. Drones such as Shahed, Mohajer, Ababil, Kaman-12, Khodkar, and Karar each have special capabilities and can gain thriving popularity in the global military equipment market.
Air defense systems
The remarkable advances of stealth fighter jets, aircraft, and drones further demonstrate the importance of air defense and radar systems. It is one of the most advanced industries in the world. An air defense system consists of various pieces of equipment with many capabilities. These systems utilize, in addition to highly advanced radars that are responsible for tracking down invading flying objects and monitoring the countries’ airspace, highly-advanced missile systems, which, if needed, are responsible for engaging and destroying hostile aircraft.
Due to all-out sanctions, especially in the field of defense, Islamic Iran was forced to rebuild and manufacture air defense equipment, and thankfully, it has been able to achieve many successes in this field. The success of the 3rd of Khordad defense system in the downing of the highly advanced US drone, which shocked the whole world, was proof of Iran’s capability and indigenous know-how to build air defense systems that are no longer monopolized by the US and Russia. The Iranian air defense systems have performed in field operations with astonishing success.
Islamic Iran has several air defense systems that can meet the needs of different countries in this area. Among the most important air defense systems produced in Iran, one can mention Bavar-373, the 3rd of Khordad, Tabas, Kamin-2, Sayad, and Talash, each of which a strong barrier against foreign invasion into the country’s airspace. As such, and at the discretion of the officials, the Iranian air defense products can also be offered for purchase in the global arms market.
Ground warfare systems
Ground defense and its related equipment, from light weapons to vehicles, personnel carriers, and tanks, is another important area of military equipment in this lucrative market. Iran’s defense industry has made great progress in this sector and can easily attract foreign buyers with its various products such as the Karar tank used by the Resistance in the fight against ISIL terrorist groups in Iraq, which is compared to the Russian T90 battle tank, or Toofan infantry mobility vehicle that can be seen in pictures as having been used by Iraqi soldiers in combating ISIL.
For light and individual weapons, Iran has made significant accomplishments, such as the Shaher sniper rifle and other such weapons, which can be included in Iran’s export basket.
The military equipment sales industry is a legitimate and highly profitable business in the world and the countries that own this industry benefit greatly from its many profits. After 40 years of sincere effort and experience in this field, Islamic Iran has also attained significant achievements; therefore, according to international law, the country can legally enter this business and pursue its national interests. Although the many sanctions, pressures, and obstacles posed by the enemies so far have prevented Iran from exporting its military equipment to the world, the end of the arms embargo in October can provide an opportunity for the country to look at this sector as a highly lucrative business and make great profits from it.
Report by Hadi Rezaei