Tehran has unveiled an upgraded line of army tanks, amid US efforts to extend an arms embargo on Iran.
Iranian Minister of Defense Brigadier General Amir Hatami unveiled the new tanks of the Armed Forces, as well as a test field in Dorud County in the western province of Lorestan on August 13.
“Overhauling and upgrading military and defense weapons require up-to-date knowledge. The Ministry of Defense relies on domestic capabilities to strengthen Iran's military power,” the minister said, according to Iran’s Khabaronline news agency.
Hatami added that his country is currently capable of manufacturing tanks equipped with the electro-optical fire control system, laser rangefinder system and ballistic computer system capable of firing at both fixed and moving targets, day or night.
Earlier, Deputy Commander of Ground Forces Brigadier General Amir Nozar Nemati said the ultra-heavy tank transporters show that Iran is capable of ending its dependence on foreign arms, adding that the army was now able to build its own military equipment.
“Today, we attained self-sufficiency in the production of ultra-heavy tank transporters and ended our dependence (on foreign states) through the efforts of faithful and specialized youth,” Nemati said on August 11.
Iran's army also equipped its armored divisions with a domestically-manufactured version of the T-90 tank. This tank is much more advanced than the Zolfaqar tank and is equipped with a new gun stabilizer and a chemical defense system.
In November 2019, Iran's Ground Forces unveiled the “Kian-700”, a domestically-manufactured transporter, capable of carrying two military tanks. The transporter’s heavy tractor unit is equipped with a 700-horsepower engine and can carry up to 200 tons in weight.
The Kian-700 is furnished with the “Soleiman-3” super-heavy trailer, which can carry two military tanks, each weighing 60 tons. At a total weight of 17.7 tons, the Iranian tank transporter has 4 axles and a 12-speed transmission.
In 2016, Iran unveiled the “Pouria” and “Fallagh”, an optimized transporter and tank. The Fallagh is equipped with an automatic and stabilized DShK machine gun that is controlled by the crew.
Iran is also producing 72Z tanks that are an upgraded version of Soviet T-54 and T-55 tanks and Chinese Type 59 tanks. These tanks are not a copy of Soviet T-72 tank as the name would suggest.
Iran's defense forces heavily rely on foreign weapons because of their limited ability to produce them domestically. An international arms embargo, which was imposed by the United Nations Security Council in 2007, has significantly weakened Iran's military capabilities. As a result, Iran is heavily dependent on Russian and Chinese military equipment.
However, a nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers in 2015 paved the way for UNSC Resolution 2231 which stipulated that the arms embargo would end on October 18, 2020.