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Iran: Military Doctrine
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > Military Doctrine


The fundamental principles of Iran’s military doctrine were laid out in the regulations codified for the armed forces in 1992, under the title “Iran: Complete Regulations of the Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces.” Because Iran’s armed forces and equipment were exhausted by the war with Iraq and subsequent arms resupply was severely limited by an international embargo and by Iran’s poor economic position, the 1992 doctrine depended heavily on a deep supply of manpower, the strategic advantages provided by the nation’s geography, and the patriotic ideology inherited from Ayatollah Khomeini. The primary goals of the doctrine were defensive: to protect the territory of Iran and the practice of Islam on that territory. Increasingly in the 1990s and early 2000s, Iran’s long-term historical effort to preserve influence in its region was focused on ending what it considered the most urgent threat to that influence: the U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf region. In the early 2000s, the doctrine still relied on manpower, territory, and ideological fervor, and the fundamental goals remained the same. However, by 2000 the offensive and defensive phases of the doctrine had been refined by external events and by Iran’s improved financial and technological resources.

Data as of 2008

Last Updated: January 2008

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iran was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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