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The nation of Iran has used armour since at least the inter-war period following the First World War. Prior to the fall of the Shah in the late 1970s Iran relied heavily on foreign suppliers for her armoured forces however today there are multiple native projects. Iranian history in the twentieth century has been marked by political instability. Since the 1980s with the fall of the Shah the nation has been known as the Islamic Republic of Iran. The many political influences ongoing through the twentieth century must be noted due to the influence they had on the Iranian military.

  1. Up to 1921 the Qajar dynasty ruled Iran, or the Sublime State of Persia
  2. From 1921 to 1978, Iran was ruled by the Shahs
  3. 1979 to the present, we see the Islamic Repubic of Iran

Not only have several regimes existed during the twentieth century, but there has been notable foreign interference in the country. Iran has received armaments from all over the world; her armored units have inlucded the following:

  1. Renault FT, acquired in 1924, although the information is limited on these early acquisitions
  2. ČKD PI, given as a gift to the Shah of Iran
  3. ČKD TNH-P, the TNH-P was a light tank from Czechoslovakia. Iran received 60 between 1935 and 1937. The TNH-P was equipped with a Skoda A4 37mm cannon as it's main armament and two Vz.35 machine-guns as secondary armaments. This vehicle was powered by a Praga TN 100 7940 cm3 engine providing 100 hp (73.9 kW).
  4. ČKD AH-IV, the AH-IV was a tankette from Czechoslovakia. Iran ordered 50 plus a prototype in 1935, receiving the vehicles between 1936 and 1937; with the vehicles assembled by late 1937.
  5. American La France TK-6 Armoured Car, circa the early 1930s, this armoured car was designed and built by the American La France company in the United States for Iran.
  6. Marmon Herrington CTL1, circa 1935
  7. Rolls Royce India Pattern Armored Car, circa 1921
  8. M36 Jackson
  9. M24 Chaffee
  10. Sherman
  11. FV101 Scorpion
  12. M60A1

Native Tank Projects

Samsam - An upgraded M60A1

Zulfiqar - An indigenous MBT project, currently the Zulfiqar family includes the Zulfiqar 1, Zulfiqar 2, and Zulfiqar 3

Tosan - An indigenous light tank design.

Works Cited:

1. "Iranian Tanks." TANKS! Armoured Warfare Prior to 1946. N.p., 13 Feb 2003. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <>.

2. "Iran." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 17 Sep 2013. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <>.

3. "Qajar dynasty." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Sep 2013. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <>.

4. "CKD-Praga TNH and Skoda LT Vz.38." Tanks Encyclopedia: The ultimate tanks database. N.p.. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <>.

5. "AH-IV." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2 Jul 2013. Web. 18 Sep 2013. <>.