I Got My Hands on a Bootleg of Iran’s Weird Drone Movie
This story originally appeared on Sept. 17, 2014. Mohajer is a 1990 movie about the final days of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War and the early days of killer drones. It’s a strange and amazing film that fetishizes unmanned aerial vehicles and kills off—I mean, martyrs—pretty much every one of... Read more
In 1986, the Iraqis Wrecked Their Own Attempt to Get an Iranian F-14
Part two of a two-part story. Read part one here. In September 1986, the Iran-Iraq War – a bloody war of attrition that involved millions of combatants and left deep scars on both sides of the front line – was about to reach its sixth anniversary. The war began... Read more
In 1986, an Iranian F-14 Pilot Defected to Iraq
Part one of a two-part story. Read part two here. On late afternoon of Sept. 2, 1986, a Grumman F-14A Tomcat operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force was reportedly shot down deep over Iraq — in an area and at the time that seemed unlikely. The... Read more
In 1987, a Rogue U.S. Navy Admiral Schemed for War With Iran
By 1987, the Iran-Iraq War had turned the Persian Gulf into a shooting gallery. As part of a total war strategy, both Baghdad and Tehran targeted merchant shipping to impede the other side’s war effort. During eight years of brutal fighting, hundreds of commercial vessels, many belonging to neutral... Read more
Why Iran Really Bought F-14 Tomcats
More than 40 years after Iran acquired the F-14 Tomcat from the United States, there are still plenty of misconceptions about the deal. Most published accounts offer a simple explanation — that Iran needed F-14s to counter over-flights by Soviet-operated MiG-25R Foxbat reconnaissance aircraft. The truth is a bit... Read more
Two Impulsive Leaders Fan the Middle East’s Flames
The Middle East. Could there be a more perilous place on Earth, including North Korea?  Not likely. The planet’s two leading nuclear armed powers backing battling proxies amply supplied with conventional weapons; terror groups splitting and spreading; religious-sectarian wars threatening amid a plethora of ongoing armed hostilities stretching from... Read more
Este fusil de pinta extraña es el Heidar, el fusil de sniper calibre .50 de Irán
Irán suele darle mucho bombo y platillo a su tecnología militar, y en algunos casos presenta falso armamento y equipo con fines propagandísticos. Además la industria militar iraní resulta muy ingeniosa y fabrica armas interesantes que posteriormente la república islámica se encarga de desplegar en conflictos muy reales. El... Read more
The Race for the Fertile Crescent
Events of historic consequence are occurring in Syria’s eastern desert and the Euphrates valley. Out of the countless events of the Syrian war so far, the present moment may be the most important one in deciding the near geopolitical future of the Fertile Crescent. Daesh—the so-called Islamic State—is falling. Chances are, it... Read more
Grounding the Ayatollah’s Tomcats
On April 9, 1972, Iraq and the Soviet Union signed an historic agreement. The USSR committed to arming the Arab republic with the latest weaponry. In return for sending Baghdad guns, tanks and jet fighters, Moscow got just one thing — influence … in a region that held most of the world’s... Read more
The Heidar Is Iran’s Weird-Looking .50-Caliber Sniper Rifle
Iran regularly over-hypes its military technology, and in some cases, shows off bogus equipment for propaganda purposes. Iran’s military industry is also resourceful and produces interesting weapons which the Islamic republic then proliferates into very real conflicts. As a latter example, Iran in April 2017 revealed the .50-caliber, semi-automatic... Read more

Robert Beckhusen

Managing Editor

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