Iran Expected to Buy Fighters, Tanks as UN Arms Embargo Lifts

DIA assessment: Iran has 'unrivaled' missiles in Middle East

A new assessment from the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is predicting that when the UN Security Council arms embargo on Iran expires in 2020, the expectation is Iran will seek to buy more advanced fighter jets and tanks from Russia and China.

The assessment is said to detail Iran’s military capabilities, declaring Iran to have an “unrivaled” missile system across the entire Middle East, and to be making rapid improvements in their drone systems.

US officials told reporters that the US sanctions on Iran would continue even if the UN arms embargo is lifted, so the US isn’t likely to secure any arms sales to Iran. Iran has not publicly commented on what they might be interested in.

Iran’s most recent import tanks are T-72S systems acquired from Russia. Iran also has its own locally-made Karrar, which some analysts say has more in common with the Russian T-90 system.

Iran might consider upgraded fighters a high priority, because the US has been pushing advanced fighters on Iran’s regional rivals and Iran’s Air Force is small and built at least in part around US-provided planes from before the revolution.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of