On January 2, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan announced that the Islamic Republic was ready to export small-caliber ammunition to foreign countries. Speaking at an arms production inauguration ceremony in Tehran, Dehghan added: “By inaugurating and launching this production line, in addition to meeting all needs of the armed forces to small-caliber ammunition, the production capacity for such ammunition has doubled and the ground is paved to export it as well.” Last year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had stressed that “Iran's defensive capability and power must be increased so that the bullying powers would feel threatened.”
Iran’s expanding arms production is a matter of great concern for the United States and regional countries. The Iranian regime has increased the production of long-range missiles in a clear violation of UN resolutions and the nuclear accord Tehran signed with world powers in July 2015. And given Tehran’s history of aiding regional terrorist and sectarian groups, Dehghan’s announcement about the export of small-caliber ammunition is set to prompt additional worries about the Islamic Republic’s efforts to destabilize the region.