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Posts: 68
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af
Freeloader (اش خور)
Sorry for the rather 'newb' question, but ever since stumbling across this site, I have become fascinated with Iran's military capabilities.

I have noticed that due to sanctions, Iran produces many of its products domestically. However, I have learned that Iran obtains technology/equipment from places outside of Iran.

Does anyone know if Iran procures weapons/equipment/ammunition from Western countries, such as Germany or the United States?

Most of the information I have found revolves around Iran's nuclear program, and not on the military/IRGC/police force itself.

Cheers!

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Posts: 12745
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Major general (سرلشگر)
It would be a surprise if we assume Iran does not acquire military technology from elsewhere. But to what extend and from where is the main question. Iranian military technology is based on several strategies:

1- Reverse engineering parts
2- Upgrading the reversed engineered parts or technologies.

The above is based on what is at Iran military disposal. So, where do these technologies come from.

1- From the Shah's time.
2- Captured from the wars (Lebanese wars included).
3- Arms purchased after revolution.

Now, we all know, very little arms trickled from the West to Iran through right out purchasing. But, some similar technologies were obtained from China, Russia, Pakistan and even North Korea. Much of eastern weapon technologies were of lower
standard than some similar technologies Iran held. As such, learning such technologies for reverse engineering did not take
a long time.

As a result of above and an excellent engineers the new upgraded weapon systems finally came to fruition. as you see now days.  This may be why you suspect if Iran imports military hardware from the West.

In short, Iran imports very little or if any Western technologies directly. But Iran may be importing some small scale technologies
mainly for benchmarking or technology transfer.

For example, IRIAF claimed, three years ago, that it had obtained some latest NATO jamming pods for its fleets. How, no one knows. But I would not be surprised if this particular import assisted IRIAF's own home-built jamming pod.
Another example would be the fallen American UAV's in Iran either shot downed or failed ones. but my biggest suspicion is that Iran must have obtained a good deal from Iraq after US invasion. There were, for example, stories that Iraqis were selling damaged US and Iraqi tanks to Iran as "scrap". 

Hope this will at least partly answer your question.

Catsoo



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Posts: 68
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af
Freeloader (اش خور)
Very much so, thank you.

I was just curious because I see Mercedes Benz Police cars, Toyota Landcruisers used for special police, Honda motorcycles ridden by Basij...

Perhaps the military was also using products from Western/Non-domestic countries.

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Posts: 3252
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us
Major (سرگرد)
Policing is kind of a middle ground, for instance Europe and the UN cooperate with Iran when it comes to policing their borders (or at least they did, I don't know what the current status is) but also usually enforce sanctions when it comes to military goods. There is of course greater worldwide focus on missile technology.

It's no secret that Iran tries as much as possible to be independent of any major weapons supplier and they have largely succeeded in that regard, however the still make some purchases outside of Iran.

The major suppliers for missile components include China and North Korea. Iran's relationship with N. Korea used to be a lot more as a recipient but now most experts agree (and as the empirical evidence we've seen can attest to) that Iran has now probably surpassed N. Korea in terms of capability. China of course plays the largest role exporting numerous major systems to Iran for both their conventional strength, asymmetric threat and nuclear/missile program.

Iran made a few purchases from Western countries, but they're not that noteworthy. They include a handful of light-trainers from France in the 90s, naval transports from the Netherlands also during the 90s. The IRIAF acquired helicopters from Canada during the 90s.

But most of their arms purchases remain unreported as Iran is quite adept at sanction-busting using front companies, off-shore offices, fake export licenses, etc.

ex: http://www.propublica.org/article/italy-arrests-highlight-iranian-arms-efforts
ex: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13559224
ex: http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/tags/weaponssmuggling
ex:http://www.fpif.org/blog/wikileaks_i_turkey-iran
Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 05:18:28 PM by Ayyash

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