Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces subsequently crushed westernizing liberal elements. Militant Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq over disputed territory. The key current issue is how rapidly the country should open up to the modernizing influences of the outside world. - US CIA World Fact Book

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Renault FT??

Two man light tank aquired in 1924. Data about exact numbers or model is unknown. Most likely they were older FT-17 8mm MG tanks.


70 + 4 prototypes were built of this unit. One of the prototypes was given as a gift to the Shah of Iran. This gift really impressed the Shah (because of the high quality of workmanship) as he went on to purchase the TNH and the AH-IV from CKD as a result.

Crew 2
Weight 2.3 tons
Length 2.7m
Width 1.75m
Height 1.45m
Engine Praga 4cyl water cooled 1950cc 30hp
Transmission ?
Performance 35km/hour
Range 100km
Armament 2 x Light ZB vz.26 MG
Armor 4 - 12mm


CKD TNH---CKD TNH------Iranian TNH

Actively building up their army between the two world wars, Iran sought armored vehicles. Between 1931 - 41, Iran purchased over 300,000 rifles, some 6000 light and heavy machine guns, and about 350 cannon of various types. Turning to the purchase of armored vehicles, the Czech CKD AH-IV and the TNH was selected. The Iranian order initially was for 50 TNH light tanks. Purchased on August 17 1936, the first shipments did not arrive in Teheran in May of 1937. The delay was due to the Iranian mission to Prague. It seems that they liked the night life there and prolonged their stay any way possible! The Shah of Iran, backers of armor, and some won over conservative elements (who at first hated the unwelcome novelties), and the public in Iran liked the tanks so much that 100 - 300 more were planned to be ordered. WW2 halted those dreams.

Crew 4
Weight 8.2 tons
Length 4.51m
Width 2.08m
Height 2.3m
Engine Praga TN100 4cyl wather cooled 7940cc 100hp
Performance 38km/hour
Range 200km
Armament 3.7cm Skoda A4 BETA; 2 x ZB vz.35 MG
Armor 8 - 15mm


Also purchased from the CKD company of Czechoslovakia, this tankette proved popular with the Iranians. These tanks, like the TNH were unique. The tanks were built by CKD, the main guns came from Skoda, the machine guns came from ZB. All these companies were competing firms who put their differences aside in the pursuit of a sale! This was a pure case of a customer getting exactly what they ordered and the manufacturer working to make the customer happy. All orders should be like this!

American La France TK-6
The American La France TK-6

The American La France Company manufactured the TK-6 Armored car for Persia (as Iran was known as then - the name was officially adopted in 1934) in 1933.  This armored car could be driven forwards or backwards in that it had dual driving controls.  This was a feature common on armored reconnaissance vehicles of the period.  Power to each wheel was transfered by way of chain drive.  The TK-6 had four wheel independent suspension and utilized pneumatic tires.  Besides the four road wheels, the two spare tires were mounted on the sides of the vehicle.

Crew ?
Weight 10.4 tons
Length 15' .5"
Width 6'
Height 8' .5"
Engine 240 hp American la France
Transmission ?
Performance ?
Range ?
Armament 37mm cannon; 2 x MG
Armor 0.25" to 0.375"

Marmon Herrington CTL1
The Marmon Herrington CTL1

Designed in 1935 for escort duty, riot control, and other such paramilitary duties. Considered innovative and reliable. This vehicle was not designed to be a front line combat unit.

Crew 2
Weight 8975 lbs
Engine Ford Lincoln V12 - 110hp
Performance 30mph
Armament 1 x MG
Armor 0.25" to 0.5"

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British Rolls Royce (India Pattern - 1921)

Iran obtained an unspecified number of British built 1921 Rolls Royce India Pattern armored cars. These units had bulbous turrents similar to Crossley armored cars.

People who helped make this page possible

Dave Barrett
Dave Barrett

Vincent Wratten

Jakub Marszalkiewicz
Jakub Marszalkiewicz

Bill Morran



Last Update: Thursday, February 13, 2003