Iran has announced the addition of a new small arms manufacturing facility, with the capacity to double that of current ammunition facilities. From Fars News Agency–
By inauguration and launching the production line, all Armed Forces’ needs to small-caliber ammunition will be met, the capacity for the production of such ammunition will double and the ground will be paved for their export too,” he underlined.
General Dehqan said that the ammunition manufactured in Iran enjoy high quality standards based on international norms.
The production line of small-caliber ammunition was inaugurated after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei stressed that Iran needed to enhance its defensive and offensive power, and asked senior military officials to push forward the country’s arms development programs in all areas, except for chemical and nuclear weapons.
Iranian ammunition hasn’t just surfaced in Syria, but also in the Sudan. More alarmingly however, the majority of it is intentionally unmarked, thus allowing plausible deniability while at United Nations or U.S. negotiation tables. Whether these new factories will continue this tactic is up to directions from the Iranian Government. But observing that ammunition has been made covert in the past, I assume this will continue. In addition, we might also be seeing stocks of 5.56x45mm in addition to the 7.62x39mm that the country exports to conflict zones, due to Iran eyeing the possible adoption of an AR clone.
The news of Iran’s increase in ammunition should is very important when it comes to actions happening on the ground in Syria and possible future relations with Iran. Usually, countries like Iran are very secretive about their defense industry, but with an announcement so brazen like this, one wonders what else is going on that isn’t being announced publicly. The increase is absolutely tied to events in Syria and supporting a number of Iranian forces there. Also, unlike a conventional conflict that would require much more support and supply when it comes to more important weapons, such as tanks, missiles, aircraft, etc… Iran’s support of fighters in Syria relies much more so on small arms and ammunition to achieve foreign policy goals.