Iranian Zulfiqar Modular Rifle, Islamic Republic's SCAR

The Iranian press has released news of the Islamic Republic’s newest rifle design from a recent press conference held on the Zulfiqar modular rifle in Tehran. Milmag has what appears to be an excellent overview of the rifle in Polish, gathering photographs from Alalam news agency. The Farsi name of the rifle, “Zulfiqar” (ذوالفقار) is the name of the sword carried by Imam Ali, an extremely exalted leader among Shi’a the world over. This isn’t the first time a defense article has been designated Zulfiqar, as in the early 1990s the Army came out with a Main Battle Tank of the same designation. One important point to note in this context is that the rifle appears to be intended to either serve as a substitute or entirely replace (pending field trials) currently serving G3A3s and AKMs in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, a branch separate from that of the standing military. This purpose might be the reasoning of picking such a term from early Islamic history.

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