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Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL)

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The Iranian government established the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) in 1989 to create a unified structure for Iran’s defense industries.1 The Defense Industries Organization (DIO), the Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), and the Defense Technology and Science Research Center (DTSRC) are all subordinate to MODAFL, giving it operational control over Iran’s ballistic missile development program.2 MODAFL entities’ illicit procurement activities have resulted in a series of ongoing U.S. sanctions,3 including a new round of sanctions announced March 21, 2023, targeting firms and individuals operating on behalf of MODAFL.4


Ballistic missile
A delivery vehicle powered by a liquid or solid fueled rocket that primarily travels in a ballistic (free-fall) trajectory.  The flight of a ballistic missile includes three phases: 1) boost phase, where the rocket generates thrust to launch the missile into flight; 2) midcourse phase, where the missile coasts in an arc under the influence of gravity; and 3) terminal phase, in which the missile descends towards its target.  Ballistic missiles can be characterized by three key parameters - range, payload, and Circular Error Probable (CEP), or targeting precision.  Ballistic missiles are primarily intended for use against ground targets.
Punitive measures, for example economic in nature, implemented in response to a state's violation of its international obligations.


  1. Steven R. Ward, Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2009), p. 320.
  2. U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Fact Sheet: Designation of Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism,” Washington, DC, 25 October 2007, www.ustreas.gov.
  3. The United States has sanctioned MODAFL pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act and the Export Administration Act (in November 2000), and pursuant to executive order 13382 (in October 2007). U.S. Department of State, “Missile Sanction Laws,” www.state.gov.
  4. “US targets Iranian drone industry in latest round of sanctions,” Al Jazeera, 21 March 2023, www.aljazeera.com.


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