Country Listing

Iran Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1986 army, 305,000; navy, 14,500; air force, 35,000. Two-thirds of army conscripted; majority of navy and air force volunteers. Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards)--approximately 350,000.

Combat Units and Major Equipment: (Note: because of wartime losses, equipment estimates were highly tentative.) Army had three mechanized divisions, each with three brigades--each of which in turn had three armored and six mechanized battalions, seven infantry divisions, one airborne brigade, one Special Forces division composed of four brigades, one Air Support Command, some independent armored brigades including infantry and "coastal force," twelve surface-to-air missile (SAM) battalions with improved Hawk missiles, reserve Qods battalion of ex- servicemen, about 1,000 tanks, and about 320 combat helicopters. Navy had fifteen combat vessels and thirty naval aircraft in 1986; by late 1987 only some small patrol craft and a few Hovercraft believed operable; three marine battalions; naval air had about thirty aircraft, mainly helicopters. Air force consisted of eight fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons, one reconnaissance squadron, two joint tanker-transport squadrons, five light transport squadrons, and five SAM squadrons; about ninety operational aircraft in 1986. Pasdaran had possibly eight divisions loosely organized in eleven regional commands and numerous independent brigades.

Paramilitary: Basij "Popular Mobilization Army" volunteers--strength varied; in 1986 said to be 3 million.

Military Budget: (figures varied and unreliable) In 1985-86 military budget estimated at US$14.1 billion; total war-related expenses by 1987 estimated at US$100 billion.

Police and Internal Security Agencies: In 1986 Gendarmerie about 70,000, including border guard; National Police, approximately 200,000; SAVAMA secret police, number unknown.

Data as of December 1987