Sunday 27 November 2022

Expanding Sphere Of Influence: Iranian UAV Exports

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans

Iran's drone success sets the stage for an expansion of its sphere of influence as the number of countries where Iranian UAVs operate is growing. This not only includes a vast number of non-state actors such as Hizbullah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, but also countries like Ethiopia (which began to operate its Mohajer-6 UCAVs in late 2021 after some initial teething issues), Russia and Tajikistan. It seems like the number of state actors operating Iranian UAVs is only set to increase in the future, while non-state actors like the Houthis will continue to receive new Iranian drone designs as the country's UAV designs are rapidly evolving despite the implementation of foreign sanctions specifically targeting Iran's drone industry and its exports abroad.

The goal of this list is to catalogue Iranian drone deliveries to state and non-state actors. This list only includes UAVs confirmed to be in service with a state or non-state actor other than Iran, not those operated by Iranian personnel in Syria or elsewhere. A year in square brackets after the designation refers to the year the equipment was first seen in, which more often than not is also the delivery date. This list is updated as new operators of Iranian drones emerge.

For a complete overview of Iran's unmanned aerial vehicles please click here.
(Click on the equipment to get a picture of them in Iranian service)



Libyan National Army (Libya)




Central Asia








Middle East


Hamas (Palestine)

Houthis (Yemen)

Hizbullah (Lebanon)


Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Palestine)