Mine Action

Last updated: 16 July 2017

Contaminated by: landmines (extent of contamination unknown), cluster munition remnants (extent of contamination unknown), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Non-signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty

(See 2016 country profile for details of mine contamination and clearance) 

Non-signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Recommendation for action

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran should seek international assistance to develop a functioning mine action program.


The exact extent of contamination from cluster munitions in Iran is not known. Some contamination is believed to remain from the Iran-Iraq war, when cluster munitions were widely used in Khuzestan and to a lesser extent in Kermanshah. Iraqi forces used mostly French- and Russian-made submunitions in attacks on oil facilities at Abadan and Mah-Shahr, and Spanish munitions in attacks on troop positions at Dasht-e-Azadegan. Air force explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams cleared many unexploded submunitions after attacks but contamination remains around Mah-Shahr and the port of Bandar Imam Khomeini, according to a retired Iranian Air Force colonel.[1]

Other explosive remnants of war and landmines

Other explosive remnants of war (ERW) continue to inflict casualties, particularly as a result of scavenging for scrap metal, though the extent of the problem is not clear. UXO includes grenades, mortar, artillery shells, and air-dropped bombs.

Program Management

The Iran Mine Action Centre (IRMAC) is responsible for planning, data, survey management, and procurement. It also sets standards, provides training for clearance operators, concludes contracts with demining operators (military or private), and ensures monitoring of their operations. It coordinates mine action with the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior, the Management and Planning Organization of Iran, and other relevant ministries and organizations, and handles international relations.

IRMAC also oversees victim assistance and risk education but has partly delegated these roles to entities such as the Social Welfare Organization and the Iranian Red Crescent Society.[2]

IRMAC’s future appeared uncertain in 2014 amid debate on institutional reforms. IRMAC’s statement that 99% of contaminated lands had been cleared led to proposals to transfer the mandate for remaining work to the Ministry of Interior. At the time of drafting this report, it was still not clear if, to what extent, and when these changes would materialize. According to reports from mine action sources, clearance operations were slowing in 2015 due to these uncertainties.[3]

Land Release

No data was available on any cluster munition clearance in 2016 as in previous years.


The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review, which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.

[1] Interview with Air Force Colonel (ret.) Ali Alizadeh, Tehran, 8 February 2014.

[2] IRMAC PowerPoint Presentation, Tehran, 9 February 2014; and IRMAC, “Presentation of IRMAC,” undated.

[3] Telephone interview with mine action sector operator, provided on condition of anonymity, 5 April 2015.