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Iran’s growing arms industry raises concerns as US, allies grapple with tensions

Tehran's Booming Weapons Market, Fueled by Russian Drones, Shifts Dynamics in Middle East and Beyond...

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Iran’s growing arms industry raises concerns as US, allies grapple with tensions

Iran has rapidly expanded its arms industry, emerging as a major exporter of cost-effective, high-tech weaponry. This transformation, accelerated by Russia’s substantial purchase of drones in 2022, has heightened concerns for the U.S. and its Middle East allies, as well as Ukraine and other nations.

The surge in Iran’s arms exports has empowered the country to support militia allies in the Middle East, intensifying conflicts in regions like Gaza. Notably, the Shahed suicide drone, a prominent Iranian arms export, was deployed in a January 28 attack by an Iraqi militia group in Jordan, causing alarm among U.S. officials.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s interception of over 200 weapon packages from Iran destined for Yemen, coupled with the disclosure of Iran’s involvement in global conflicts, underscores the escalating challenges faced by the U.S. and its military operations in the Middle East.

READ ALSO: Irans oil exports reach 5-year high despite US sanctions

Iran’s sales, totaling approximately $1 billion from March 2022 to March 2023, have surged threefold compared to the previous year.

“Despite being the 16th-largest arms seller globally, Iran’s growing influence in the arms market is evident, posing potential risks to major powers”.

The blossoming arms-export industry has provided a lucrative revenue stream for Iran, offsetting constraints on oil sales and banking transactions.

However, concerns about the global implications of Iran’s weapons proliferation persist, as evidenced by increased sanctions and military actions taken by the U.S. and its allies.

As Iran’s fingerprints become more apparent in various conflicts worldwide, the implications of its expanding arms industry on asymmetric warfare and global stability are raising alarms among experts and policymakers alike.

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