Iran country overview

Iran Government

Iran information index

Iran armed forces and security

During the monarchy, Iran possessed one of the world’s largest armed forces, but it disbanded after the monarchy collapsed. It was later reestablished after the revolution, and the Iranian military engaged in a prolonged conflict with Iraq from 1980 to 1988. Since then, Iran has maintained a formidable active and reserve component. In the mid-1980s, Iran began developing programs for weapons of mass destruction, which include nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. There is speculation that Iran may have used chemical weapons in its war with Iraq. By the late 1990s, Iran had achieved some success in domestically producing medium- and intermediate-range missiles, capable of reaching distances of 300 to 600 miles and 600 to 3,300 miles, respectively. Some outside observers, particularly in the United States, argue that Iran’s nuclear energy industry is a cover for a nuclear weapons program.

Iran’s military relies heavily on conscription, with males required to serve 21 months of military service. The army is the largest branch of Iran’s military, followed by the Revolutionary Guards, which was established in the early days of the republic. The Revolutionary Guards are considered the country’s most effective military force and consist of personnel who are politically reliable and religiously devout. Any security forces involved in external or internal armed conflicts are either accompanied or led by elements of the Revolutionary Guards.

Despite its limited size and capabilities, the air force and navy of Iran play a crucial role in the country’s defense strategy. The IRIAF is responsible for protecting Iranian airspace and conducting aerial missions, while the IRIN is tasked with safeguarding the country’s coastlines and maritime interests. Although smaller in size compared to its neighbors, the air force and navy of Iran have been modernizing and upgrading their equipment and capabilities in recent years. The IRIAF has acquired new aircraft, advanced weapons systems, and improved training programs, enhancing its overall combat readiness and effectiveness. Similarly, the IRIN has been investing in new vessels, submarines, and missile defense systems to strengthen its naval capabilities and protect Iranian territorial waters. Despite these improvements, Iran’s air force and navy still face challenges due to international sanctions, which limit their ability to access advanced military technology and equipment. Additionally, regional tensions and conflicts pose constant threats to Iran’s security, requiring the air force and navy to remain vigilant and prepared for any potential threats. Overall, while the air force and navy of Iran may be smaller in size and capabilities compared to some of its neighbors, they continue to play a vital role in safeguarding the country’s security and defending its sovereignty. Through ongoing modernization efforts and strategic partnerships, Iran’s air force and navy are working to enhance their capabilities and ensure they are prepared to meet any challenges that may arise in the future. 

The Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran, also known as NAJA, serves as the primary national police force in the country. One of its specialized units, the Guidance Patrol, is tasked with enforcing Islamic dress codes and behavior as prescribed by the ruling clerical class. This includes ensuring that women wear the mandatory hijab in public spaces and adherence to other Islamic principles. The Guidance Patrol often conducts patrols in public areas, such as parks, shopping centers, and streets, to ensure that individuals are complying with Islamic laws and regulations. They have the authority to issue fines or even arrest individuals who are found to be in violation of these rules. The enforcement of Islamic dress and behavior by the Guidance Patrol has been a controversial issue both domestically and internationally, with critics arguing that it infringes on personal freedoms and violates human rights. However, supporters of the Patrol argue that it is necessary to uphold Islamic values and protect the country’s moral integrity. Overall, the Guidance Patrol plays a significant role in upholding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s strict interpretation of Islam and ensuring that individuals adhere to the religious and cultural norms set by the ruling clerical class.

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