Iran: Arms and Weapons of Mass Destruction Suppliers

January 3, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile
  • Chemical
  • Biological


Kenneth Katzman

Author's Title: 

Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs

Related Country: 

  • China
  • North Korea
  • Russia

Successive U.S. administrations since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution have viewed Iran as a potential threat to U.S. allies and forces in the Persian Gulf and in the broader Middle East and have sought to limit its strategic capabilities. The greater visibility of moderate elements inside Iran since 1997 led the United States to seek to engage Iran in a formal governmental dialogue, but the Clinton and George W. Bush Administration did not reduce U.S. efforts to deny Iran advanced
conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction (WMD)  echnology. Iran’s moderates appear to see regional threats to Iran as do Iran’s hardliners and have made no apparent effort to curb Iran’s efforts to acquire WMD. Even if moderate leaders had sought to do so, they have been largely outmaneuvered on defense and other issues by hardliners who still control the armed forces, internal security services, the judiciary, and key decision-making bodies.