Iran's Post-Revolution Technological Golden Age
Ever since the overthrow of the autocratic monarchy in Iran in 1979, the Iranian government and people have made strides in science and technology, putting Iran on the world map in intellect.
Despite being riddled with sanctions and blockades, Iran continues to make a name for itself through technology and science, be it throughout medicine, space, nuclear energy, or armament, Iran's growth in scientific output is one of the fastest in the world.
Biotechnology research activities in Iran started in 1989 with the establishment of the National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, which is supervised by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology. The institute has established various departments since its foundation, the most prominent of which are plant biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, and the animal biotechnology departments, and numerous institutes: Institute of Medical Biotechnology, Institute of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology, and the Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology.
Since the revolution, the number of universities in Iran increased from 15 to 615 and the number of students increased from 175,000 to more than 4 million with the percentage of female university students increasing from 6% to 75%. The Islamic Republic has 2% of the world's scientific articles and its researchers rank 15 on the global scale.
Since the Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic made it its priority to locally produce medicines and drugs. As of 2018, around 97% of its drugs were locally manufactured. That boosted Iran's economy and increased its GDP.
It increased the number of doctors from 15,000 to 111,000 doctors, terminating the country's need for foreign doctors, becoming the number one in the region and number seven in the world in manufacturing pharmaceuticals, and it possesses the world's second place in stem cell technology.
In 2020, a group of scientists announced they developed an herbal treatment for epilepsy, which resulted in successful outcomes during their clinical trials.
Due to its medical advancements, Iran has achieved significant success in extending healthcare to the rural areas and in reducing the rates of infant mortality to 1.5% after being at 12% before the revolution and increasing population growth. The life expectancy also increased from 58% to 72%.
Iran was among the first few countries to start research and trials for an indigenous COVID-19 vaccine and among the first countries to begin mass-producing the vaccine, with plans on producing more than 10 million doses by the end of June.
Iran established its space agency in 2003, and by 2009, the Islamic Republique became the sixth country to launch a satellite into orbit. Since its foundation, the Iranian Space Agency has successfully launched four indigenous research satellites, Omid, Rasad-1, Fajr, and Noor, and two space rockets, Safir and Simorgh. Iran also launched several animals into space, which returned alive to earth, including a monkey, spiders, mice, and turtles.
Iran aims and has been enhancing its space reconnaissance capabilities and test missile rockets. The West Asian country itself said that its space program is to boost science, communication capabilities, and environmental research, though those who oppose the advanced country, namely the United States, claim that its peaceful space program is being used as a cover for ballistic missile tests.
Iran is a resource-rich country. It holds the world's fourth-largest proved crude oil reserves and the world's second-largest natural gas reserves. Although it has substantial amounts of oil reserves, it is developing its renewable energy sector. In terms of installed capacity of renewable energy, Iran is the leader in the Middle East North Africa region with 9,612.3 MW.
Iran has in place legislation obliging the Minister of Energy to increase the share of renewables and clean power plants to at least 5% of the country's capacity until the end of 2021.
million tons in 2015. This increased the percentage of Iran's processed petroleum-based exports. It plans to invest $500 billion in the oil sector before 2025. Between 1981 and 2010, domestic consumption of oil products increased by an annual average of 37%. Between 1982 and 2004, gasoline consumption grew by 6% annually.
Industrially, Iran is number 8 in the world in copper production, 11 in iron production, 21 in aluminum production, 13 in steel production, and 16 in automobile production.
Since 1992, Iran has been producing the majority of its military equipment due to the sanctions imposed upon it, making strides over the past decades. It has the largest missile force in the region, with a substantial inventory of CRBMs, SRBMs, and MRBMs, and it is ranked 14 out of 140 countries in military strength on a global scale, placing it ahead of Saudi Arabia and the Israeli occupation entity.
Decades of international sanctions have hindered its ability to modernize its military forces through foreign procurement. However, it invested heavily in its domestic infrastructure, equipment, and expertise to develop and produce increasingly capable ballistic and cruise missiles.
Iran operates a diverse array of native and foreign SAM and radar systems, a large fleet of small surface vessels, high-speed FAC and FIAC equipped with machine guns, unguided rockets, torpedoes, ASCMs, and mines, as well as highly advanced undersea warfare capabilities.