02:28 GMT14 August 2020
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    Cut off from its traditional Western arms suppliers following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran has since built up a major domestic defence industry, producing everything from small arms to ballistic and cruise missiles.

    Iran’s military has made adequate preparations to defend the country in case of enemy aggression, having built up an array of advanced arms for the conflicts of the future, Armed Forces Commander in Chief Gen. Kioumars Heydari has declared.

    “Today, we have taken great strides in achieving our goal of equipping ourselves with smart, pinpoint, digital and electronic weapons to counter the possible threats to the country,” Heydari said, speaking to Army University of Command and Staff professors and cadets in Tehran on Wednesday.

    “By changing its structure and organization, the Army Ground Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been able to meet the current operational needs in order to be ready to face any possible threats in any way,” he added.

    Heydari stressed that improvements in the armed forces’ “mobility, agility and combat capability” have been achieved through reliance on domestic industries and scientists on the basis of the principle of self-sufficiency in both equipment and the technologies behind it.

    Mostly cut off from its US and Western European partners following the Iranian Revolution and during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988, and then again since 2010 and the United Nations arms embargo, Iran has developed a domestic arms industry enabling it to build everything from small arms to drones, advanced air defences, tanks and warships.

    According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Iran spent the equivalent of $12.6 billion on defence in 2019, comparing favourably with regional adversaries Saudi Arabia and Israel ($61.8 billion and $20.5 billion, respectively) and with the United States, which spent $732 billion on its military during the same period.

    In 2015, after the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more widely known as the Iran nuclear deal, the UN endorsed lifting the international arms embargo against the country in October 2020. Earlier this year, the United States began lobbying Security Council members to extend the embargo, alleging that the security of the Middle East would be jeopardized if it were not extended. Vote-wielding Security Council members Russia and China have already indicated that they would not support extending the restrictions, with the US’s European allies similarly failing to support Washington’s proposal.

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