What Kind of Weapons Does Iran Have? U.S. Military Lays Out Arsenal in Playing Cards

The U.S. military has laid out Iran's weapons in a new deck of playing cards featuring missiles, tanks, drones and more, according to a new report.

The Federation of American Scientists released a report Wednesday detailing 54 weapons in Iran's arsenal as identified by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Worldwide Equipment Identification Cards system. Each item was matched with a card from a standard deck of French playing cards, including two jokers, displaying its name and type as well as the main weapon and its range.

A Google search turned up what appeared to be an official link featuring the cards on the Central Army Registry's website, but the section could only be reached with credentials.

Previous editions featured the stockpile of China and Russia in April and earlier this month, respectively, and a North Korea set was reportedly on the way, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Another Pentagon body, the Defense Intelligence Agency, also infamously constructed a 52-card "most-wanted" deck in the leadup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq listing high-priority individuals—all but six of whom have since been killed or captured.

iran fadjr rocket card us military
The Fadjr-5, or Fajr-5, long-range multiple launch rocket system is seen in this photo originally featured by Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency on February 15, 2017 and subsequently adapted for the seven of clubs card in the Iran edition of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Worldwide Equipment Identification Cards. Federation of American Scientists

The weapons featured a mix of indigenously-produced weapons as well as a mix of others from the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. Much of the Western equipment dates back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution that brought to power the country's current clerical leadership and overthrew a monarchy previously reinstalled by a CIA coup of which Iranians recognized the 66th anniversary Monday.

The Federation of American Scientists' report Wednesday also came just a day before Iran celebrated its National Day of the Defense Industry, and as the country's armed forces released statements declaring Iran "the undisputed top power in the region and in competition with extra-regional powers." In addition to the weapons featured in the Army's cards, the country also commanded the Middle East's biggest and most advanced missile arsenal as well as its largest standing army and an array of naval assets as well.

Iran's military has been in the spotlight as tensions rose in the Persian Gulf in recent months. Washington and Tehran, long at odds, have grown especially hostile since President Donald Trump's decision last year to abandon a 2015 nuclear deal and increasingly impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which he has accused of funding militant groups and destabilizing the region by continuing to develop missiles.

The U.S. has also blamed Iran for attacks this year against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Following both country's claims of knocking down each other's drones and Iran and the U.K. seizing one another's oil tankers, the Trump administration called for a multinational maritime security construct, which the U.K., Bahrain and Australia have since joined.

Israel and South Korea have also expressed interest, but Germany has declined the offer and many other remains skeptical. China and Russia have instead backed Iran's efforts to bolster regional cooperation across the tense Strait of Hormuz as it tried to shore up ties with Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Top rival Saudi Arabia has so far yet to respond to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's calls for dialogue.

Zarif, who was blacklisted last month by the U.S., tweeted Wednesday that he "stressed necessity of both multilateralism & rule of law in age of reckless US unilateralism" as he concluded a visit to Norway following stops in Finland and Sweden. He was next headed to France in hopes of countering U.S. attempts to isolate his country internationally.

Back in Iran, the military unveiled a new long-range road-mobile surface-to-air missile system, the Bavar 373, in a ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani and Defense Minister Amir Hatami. At a separate gathering in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami stated that "no country can establish security in the entire region like Iran," arguing that "we see consider foreign presence in the Persian Gulf to be contradictory to its security."

iran military missile air defense
The Bavar 373 long-range road-mobile surface-to-air missile system is unveiled at a ceremony in Tehran to mark the National Day of the Defense Industry, August 22. The weapon a long-range, phased array fire-control radar called Me’raj-4. Iranian Ministry of Defense

The full Iran edition of the U.S. Army's Worldwide Equipment Identification Cards as featured by the Federation of American Scientists' report is as follows:


A: Zulfiqar Main Battle Tank

K: M110 Self-Propelled Gun

Q: Cascavel Armored Reconnaissance

J: M113A1 Armored Personnel Carrier

10: D-20 Towed Howitzer

9: M114A1 Towed Howitzer

8: Scorpion Armored Reconnaissance

7: Fadjr-5 Multiple Rocket Launcher

6: BM-21 Multiple Rocket Launcher

5: RPG-29 Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher

4: SA-7b Grail Man Portable Air Defense System

3: Ababil-2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2: Improved Hawk Surface-to-Air Missile System


A: T-72 Karrar Main Battle Tank

K: M107 Self-Propelled Gun

Q: BTR-60 Armored Personnel Carrier

J: BMP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

10: T-72 S Main Battle Tank

9: M-46 Towed Field Gun

8: AT-3 Sagger Anti-Tank Guided Missile

7: FATEH 110 Surface-to-Air Missile

6: MISAGH-2 Surface-to-Air Missile System

5: Komet Anti-Tank Guided Missile

4: Sayyad Armored Reconnaissance

3: Mohajer 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2: SA-5 Surface-to-Air Missile System


A: PANTSIR (SA-22) Surface-to-Air Missile System

K: SA-13 Short-Range Air Defense System

Q: BTR-50 Armored Personnel Carrier

J: BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

10: Type 63 Multiple Rocket Launcher

9: M115 Towed Howitzer

8: AT-4 Anti-Tank Guided Missile

7: Naze'at Long Range Artillery Rocket

6: 2S1 Self-Propelled Howitzer

5: AT-5 Towsan Anti-Tank Guided Missile

4: SA-24 Grinch Man Portable Air Defense System

3: SHAHED-129 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2: SA-20C Surface-to-Air Missile System


A: Chieftain MK3/MK5 Main Battle Tank

K: Khordad-3 Surface-to-Air Missile System

Q: BTR-80 Armored Personnel Carrier

J: D-30 Towed Howitzer

10: CSA-4A Surface-to-Air missile System

9: GHN-45 Towed Howitzer

8: BGM-71A (TOW) Anti-Tank Guided Missile

7: Toufan Attack Helicopter

6: Hadid Multiple Rocket Launcher

5: Thunder-2 Self-Propelled Howitzer

4: SA-15 Gauntlet Surface-to-Air Missile System

3: Mohajer 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

2: SA-2 Guideline Surface-to-Air Missile System


Mojaher-6 [likely a misspelling of Mohajer-6] Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Oerlikon GDF Air Defense Artillery