Report: Iraqi Snipers Using Iranian Rifles

iraqi with iranian rifle

War is Boring is reporting that Iraqi government troops are being outfitted with rifles from neighboring Iran.  The rifles specifically mentioned were the Sayyad, a clone of the Steyr Hs. 50 and a Siavash, a 7.62×51 clone of the US military M40 rifle.

Siavash sniper rifle

Image courtesy of mashreghnews.ir

Little information is widely available on either rifle.  The Sayyad, also referred to as the Sayyad-2 by some, has been a source of some controversy due to its appearance in war zones outside of Iran.

This video appears to show the Iranian Sayyad-2 rifle:

Additional photos of the Sayyad-2 rifle from the Iran Military Facebook page:

sniper rifles iran

iranian rifle

rifle

iran sniper rifle

iranian sniper rifle

This photo from defence.pk shows a Siavash rifle with what appears to be a synthetic, thumbhole stock and accessory rails:

Siavash sniper rifle

Thanks to Max for the tip.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Jeff Smith

    The Iranian military has a Facebook page?

    • LCON

      Everyone does.. except me It interferes with the tinfoil I wear as a hat.

    • dan citizen

      quick, “like” it.

    • scw

      Welcome to the modern world of internet.

  • Mike N.

    Those guns have what appears to be Schmidt & Bender scopes and what looks to be a Burris Eliminator in the first picture. Where are the Iranians getting these?

    • Cameron

      Ebay?

    • The Hun

      color me shocked that western countries skirt the ban against selling stuff to the Iranians

  • dp

    Put it this way: West has no more supremacy over field armaments and we have to accept it. Sure, someone will object that they do not perform to same standard – and who cares. They are self-sufficient and that hurts our business.
    BTW, as I recall the common service pistol in Iraq is Zastava 99 in 9mm Para. So, no S&W, Colt, Ruger or anything from those who donated them the ‘new freedom’.

    • There are at least 7,500 M&P9 that were shipped to Iraq for their police & military. I don’t know if there were additional orders made/shipped.

      http://ir.smith-wesson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-newsArticle_Print&ID=1220183&highlight

      Other than pistols, it looks like the US sent/sold/donated:

      2006: 50,750 M16A2 rifles and 50,750 M4A1 carbines

      2007: 123,544 M16A2 riles and 12,035 M4A1 carbines

      And possibly sent/sold/donated an additional 100,000 M16A4 rifles, 100,000 M4A1 carbines, 1,100 40mm grenande launchers and 3,300 9mm pistols per a request made in March 2008.

      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Iraqs-Military-Requesting-139B-in-Weapons-Vehicles-and-Equipment-04816/

      It looks like there was also a December 2008 request for an additional 80,000 M16A4 rifles, 25,000 M4A1 carbines and 2,550 M203 grenade launchers.

      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/December-2008-Small-Arms-for-Iraq-2-05205/

      In a letter of inquiry submitted to Stuart Bowen, Jr, the special inspector general for Iraq, the late Senator Edward Kennedy inquired about the sourcing of Glock pistols. Kennedy referred to the purchase of 29,000 Glock pistols. In the SIG response, Bowen stated the total pistol purchase (unknown if Glock only) was 138,813 handguns. While the home office in Austria got their share of the profits, I believe the purchase went through Smyrna.

      The Zastava 99 might be a common service pistol in Iraq, but to suggest that no US company’s firearms made their way to the Iraq military and police forces would appear to be incorrect.

      • dp

        It appears that way, although numbers seem inflated. I’d think that Iraqi ground force in no more than 100k men. Thanks for adding to my knowledge.

      • dp

        You know, thinking again about those (stinkin’) numbers, I would not give it second thought that they might have been at least partly for resale. Imagine, with that super-corrupt structure which is now in place in Iraq AND considering what Carl is saying on top of page it would add up.

        • I can’t speak to the structure of the government of Iraq, but I’d imagine that opportunists are frequently found in any structure – government or otherwise – that is going through major re-organization. If I recall correctly, a lot of US-provided AK type rifles went missing around 2004-2005. I think the Washington Post had that story.

          • dp

            Yeah, that’s what I recall too; they received originally AKs. Went missing? Oh well… they must be rumbling in Syria or some place around middle East.

    • flyingrhino

      don’t forget they didn’t ask for our help. so we shouldn’t expect any in return for giving it to them. that’s known as altruism. besides. we kinda owed them by pissing off hussein then walking away in ’91 for him to take his tantrum out on his people.

      oooohhhhh also don’t forget we were buds with him at a time we knew he was gassing people. so yeah. the iraqis would be DUMB to trust us and don’t owe us diddly.

  • Ken

    I wonder how close of a clone the Siavash is to the M40. Is it a clone of the Remington 700 action?

    That first picture of a Siavash has a thumb cutout on the sidewall of the receiver like a Mauser while the one in the second picture does not. I wonder if they’re even the same rifle. Maybe they took a Persian Mauser action and built it up.

  • Carl Nguyen

    It wouldn’t surprise me. The entirety of the middle east is witnessing something like a civil war in Islam, between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Sunni vs Shiite, majorities versus a dizzying array of religious and ethnic minorities with little concept of nationality to bind them. All with authoritarian governments clashing with Islamists for control over these large swathes of angry, unemployed civilians. The entire region is on fire, will remain on fire. Joy of joys.

    • Cameron

      If only the US would just leave the area and not send millions a day to a certain little shit hole on the coast…

      • The Hun

        Don’t forget $429M for “Iron Dome”- now make sure to pay those taxes on time 😉

        • flyingrhino

          yeah. middle eastern war. brought to you buy american tax dollars on a daily basis. and eejit commenters have the gall to slander them for hating us.

      • JaxD

        EAD

    • dp

      Seems like fair assessment. There comes profit for arms making companies, domestic or foreign.

    • The Hun

      All thanks to the Cee-Aye-A.

  • 1leggeddog

    THAT is a big muzzle brake.

    • dp

      Yeah and shock-wave deflector on top of it. You have to wonder where they have seen it.

      • iksnilol

        Maybe they came up with it themselves?

      • 1leggeddog

        Still, im jealous because i want a .50 bmg gun.

  • ColaBox

    That guy up top looks like an Iraqi Mario. Itsa me Mahmoud! Steal Peach now Bowser.

  • 101nomad

    I don’t care what they kill each other with.

    • flyingrhino

      i do. they need to stop killing each other and start cooperting. like they used to. before the west’s greedy eyes turned on all their oil.

  • Lance

    Iraq government is Shiite Muslim and is a allied with Iran. of course they will milk both the US and Iraq for weapons against Sunni forces fighting them.

    • flyingrhino

      the iraqi government is shia because 66% of the population is shia. similarly iran is a shia government as it is a theocracy, and 85% of iran is shia. they aren’t ‘milking’ iran. it’s a neighborly relationship. as far as america is concerned…yeah they’re milking us. why not? 40 years of meddling in their affairs, that’s the least we could do.

  • Ghost930

    The Austrian government actually had a contract with Iran, and supplied the IRGC with HS-50 rifles, which they promptly reverse engineered. I help recover two of these rifles in Maysan Province in 2009. They were equiped with Schmidt and Bender scopes that were serial numbered to the rifle. The state department supposedly intervened and filed a protest, and the Austrians “apologized” and were supposed to have stopped supplying them.

    • Clodboy

      Those diplomatic cables that were leaked a few years ago paint a slightly different picture: The American diplomats told Steyr how concerned they were that they were selling to the Iranians, and how that could have repercussions for their business in the US. Steyr, however, was thoroughly unimpressed, saying that as long as their business with Iran was several times the volume of their business in the US, the choice was pretty clear from a capitalist standpoint. They concluded their statement with a snarky “Oh, and if you didn’t like the sniper rifles [being sold to Iran], you’re really going to hate what comes next”

    • TV-PressPass

      I was always told that this particular discovery was a catalyst for strengthening ITAR in the US. But I can’t see how more stringent ITAR controls stateside would have affected a Austria-Iran deal.

      • Ghost930

        Fortunately for all, having a big expensive tacticool rifle does not a sniper make. It’s the man, not the rifle. This is where all these countries hit the failure wall most frequently. While I’ve seen a couple of good shooters on the opposite side in the past ten years, they were the exception not the rule. It’s not that difficult to manufacture a fairly accurate rifle. It is a bigger task to make an accurate, reliable, and dedicated man to operate it. That’s where we will always beat them.

        • lenny46

          In WWII the Russian women were the top snipers.

          • Ghost930

            I’am sure Valeri Zaitsev if still alive would be glad to hear it (Actually the top snipers in WWII were Finish and men, and the majority of them used unscoped Moisan-Nagant 91’s or Suomi sub-machine guns).

  • suchumski

    hamas is useing them to.

    • DelQ

      Not to effectively from what I read—besides, Hellfires vs Sniper rifles….hmmm…oh, ok, I give up…lol

  • flyingrhino

    good for Iraq/Iran being neighborly. America likes to drive a wedge between brothers wherever it can. divide and conquer right?

  • Secundius

    > Iraqi Sniper Weapons!

    Why should Iranian counterfeit sniper rifles be a surprise to anyone. It’s not like we told them they could only buy from us!