On 7 February 2018, the Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research hosted the first session of the Third E-Workshop “Defense Industries in the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis”. In this session, Assistant Professor Robert Czulda, the University of Lodz and University of Maryland, presented the paper entitled “Defense Industry in Iran – Between Needs and Real Capabilities”.
Dr. Czulda presented the current Iranian defense industry, including its origins, and assessed its real potential. He argued that despite official statements about the great power and sophistication of Iranian defense industry, in reality, its capabilities – both in terms of R&D and production – are very limited and cannot meet the operational needs of the Iranian Armed Forces. He stressed that the Iranian defense industry should be neither underestimated or ridiculed – its work is very impressive given what is possible due to severe international sanctions, international isolation and significant constraints. However, when the needs of the Iranian Armed Forces are taken into account, then it is difficult not to notice that indigenous industrial base, both in terms of production capacity and R&D, is unable to meet them. He concluded that the Iranian defense industry – despite overcoming many shortcomings and limitations – is unable to arm its own military both in terms of quality and quantity.