Doesn't Look Like Farsi To Me?

Look, I admit, I don’t know much about bomb-making. And I don’t know much about how factories label bombs. But I do know that in Iran virtually all numbers were in the Farsi-Arabic script. They were not and do not resemble our numbers. Now, I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that the implication that this round captured in the photo is bogus. Color me very skeptical. Any thoughts? Anyone want to google this and other aspects of the story? Steve has the same idea. Couple questions spring to mind first: is this pattern of numbers to be found on other similar weapons, made by other countries? This Russian 82mm has the markings etched in Russian. Are we sure that the Iranians use the 81mm round? Just in case I really embarrass myself by asking a tremendously stupid question, let me just add this (consider it troll repellent): there are no stupid questions. The only stupid questions are those not asked. Otherwise how are we supposed to learn.

Markings on the Zelzal 2 rocket are in Farsi. On a similar note, Juan Cole crunches some numbers. Result: implausible. Looks like the Zelzal 3 has markings in Farsi too. Here’s an anti-ship missile with Farsi on it.

Finally, here are Persian serial numbers etched onto a handgun.

Update: Ordnance pictured by the Telegraph is might not be from Iran, but from Pakistan. It could be from any number of countries, as one of our reader’s notes at this point the proof is not definitive either way.

Here’s a radio interview I did this afternoon about the so-called “proof.”

This post was read 520 times.

About author View all posts

Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

48 CommentsLeave a comment

  • In August of 1964, LBJ used some feigned intelligence to claim multiple attacks on U.S. Destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, off Vietnam’s coast, to support his power to escalate the Vietnam War.. A great write up here:

    Some 2 years later, after LBJ’s 1964 re-election, at the end of 1966, there were some 6,000 dead American soldiers.. By the end of the war, there were some 57,000..

    LBJ, like our current “Emperor Chimpy” and his mentor, “Darth Cheney, seem to be stoking up the feigned intelligence propaganda machine to attack Iran.

    Would someone explain to me why it is not in America’s best interests just to let the Theocrats of Iran isolate themselves and we leave them alone?

    This administration is hell-bent on warmongering. They seem to be planting a steady drip, drip, drip of “evidence” the last 2 weeks to sieze the power to attack Iran.

    This self described “War President” is actually mad. Sadly, the MSM is too afraid of their corporate paychecks to challenge being given a CD of “pictures” of weapons supposedly imported from Iran.

    Duhh! Who didn’t know that the Shia of Iran were supporting the Shia of Iraq! They’ve only been doing this for some 1600 years.. Chimpy and Darth are acting surprised! Duhh!

    – de Puesto

  • There seems to be a number of manufacturers for this class of ordnance. I found a number of places where they manufacture this type of mortar round, but NONE in Iran. Other than Pakistan, I’ve found manufacturers mostly in the UK, but also in the US and Canada.

  • Seems like Iran has provided Hizbollah in the past 81mm rounds of Chinese and Russian manufacture. Don’t know why they would have done that it they were producing the weapons themselves.

  • They are, based on the info at the link above, Iranian copies of Israeli originals, and the only 81mm round manufactured in Iran.

    A well-identified picture of that ordnance would clarify the issue once and for all, and I’ve been Googling like crazy for a while without success.

  • there are more photos of serial numbers of alleged iranian armaments found in iraq here and here (both are from the LA times)

    maybe drobert can do his magic on them to see where they might be from.

  • 60 mm: wt. about 2kg (0.25kg HE), max range about 1.7km;
    81 mm: wt. about 3kg (0.55kg HE), max range about 5.3km;
    120mm: wt. about 13kg (2.5kg HE), max range about 6km.

    In the 1950s the Israeli company ‘Solel-Boneh’ and the Finnish firm ‘Tampela’ established a joint enterprise known as ‘Soltam’, for the production of mortars. (‘Tampela’ later withdrew from the ‘Soltam’ project, but the name remained). ‘Soltam’ produces 60-, 81-, 120- and 160-mm mortars, for the IDF and for export; it has also sold production licenses. Iran was among the firm’s customers until the 1979 Islamic revolution. It is therefore possible that the mortars confiscated from the Karine-A are identical to those used by the IDF.

  • ONLY until proof is found one way or the other. I personally jumped the gun, thinking I had a match with the Pakistani ordnance. I’d rather be sure before going further.

  • The only clear pictures of Iranian Ordnance I found were at They have nothing which looks like those pictures.

  • If we are talking about the kind of bombs that get dropped by planes then I would say yes, English it is. If we are talking about bombs disguised as cars or trucks then the answer is probably no. Both cause the same thing.

    I think now would be a good time for those who know how, to start looking back on those stories of arms dumps being looted back at the beginning of this smeg up.



    Found the pointer from this page.

    Looks to my eye like the round is an exact match.

    (You’ll note that is the web address for the Iranian Defence Industry Organization)

    I’m trying to hit their site, but it’s slower than malass, molassus, mola – it’s really, really slow.

    “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

  • “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

  • C-802

    Range of the C-802 is thought to be 120 km, which essentially includes most of the Persian Gulf from the Iranian shore, even if their missile boats and subs stayed near their docks. This is their back porch.

    The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 (Chinese: 鹰击-82, literally “Eagle Strike”; NATO reporting name: CSS-N-8 Saccade) is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy (CHETA), also known as the Third Academy.

    Since the Yingji-82 missile has a small radar reflectivity and is only about five to seven meters above the sea surface when it attacks the target, and since its guidance equipment has strong anti-jamming capability, target ships have a very low success rate in intercepting the missile.

    The hit probability of the Yingji-82 is estimated to be as high as 98 percent. The Yingji-82 can be launched from airplanes, surface ships, submarines and land-based vehicles, and has been considered along with the US Harpoon missile as among the best anti-ship missiles of its generation.[1] Its export name is the C-802.

  • …allegedly struck and seriously damaged the Israeli missile boat during the conflict with Hezbollah earlier this summer.

    There’s a whole lot of variables associated with the use of these things. In general US ships could shoot them down before they hit them – the question is whether they could in the numbers that are likely to be launched. Typically what one does as the attacker is try to saturate the defenders ability to intercept the missiles by launching a lot of them at once (as well as launching from unexpected directions, with surprise, etc. etc.).

    “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

  • given that the Iranians have that kind of firepower, wouldn’t it make sense to sit down with them and come to an agreement before someone lights a match and the Middle East goes up in smoke? I.e. doesn’t their possession turn Iran into a formidable foe, unlike Iraq and Afghanistan who have mostly conventional arms?

  • Given the tales out of southern Lebanon about pop up launchers, hardened sites and good camouflage, I’m quite leary of what’s along that long, long southern shore of Iran. Quite apart from that nightmare potential, given the real limits on stand off distance and simply how crowded the Gulf is with traffic of various kinds, it is emphatically not my idea of a good place for a naval engagement.

    “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

  • All sorts of things that would make sense vis a vis Iranian-American relations have been quite ignored and/or deliberately scuppered by various factions in both countries over an extended period. I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that neither of the countries is grown up enough to be trusted with their own relations with each other. Quite distressing, really.

    “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

  • that America intentionally has a fleet in the Persian Gulf right now as these tensions are ramping up – trapped in a bathtub with a tiny drain, the only exit along an Iranian coast bristling with missiles with an unknown, potentially devastating ability to overwhelm American antimissile capabilities.

    There are only a couple of explanations that make sense to me strategically. The ugliest and most likely one seems to me to be “sacrificing a rook”. Some ruthless bastard thinks they need American ships on the floor of the Persian Gulf to politically justify the next step. A few thousand dead Americans would give the hawks a free hand.

    I think someone wants – needs – to lose ships, and I think they’re calculating they aren’t going to lose many, and I also think they’re wrong.

  • According to a writer on another web-site the date on this projectile doesn’t match up to the modern Iranian calendar which is something over six hundred years behind ours.

  • I remember watching a live feed the day Saddam was captured. I thought it strange that some officer was yelling at a line of troops “you are all under oath”, he was yelling. Never saw that clip again though. Later on that year there was some footage of an Iraqi “lab” of some sort. Manufacturers of certain devices have characteristic designs which persons in that specific scientific field would easily recognize. I did.
    Whitehouse credibility….zero.

  • Iran wants to trade oil in Euros and that would impact Dick’s bottom line. In a more long term scenario global corporations may find a far greater profit margin in 6 billion easily exploitable souls vs the 300 million energy gluttons found here. Deplete our military, economy, social fabric, health and sooner or later we are not “number 1”. How many countries do you think PNAC studied before they picked Iraq.

  • Iran draws their mark in the sand and the United States then sketches theirs. The two of them play a game of moving lines instead of talking to each other and resolving their differences. Neither one trusts the other, and for very good reasons. Nor do I believe they will accept an intermediary attempting to broker a peace agreement as the world plunges toward nuclear Armageddon. This happened before (Cuban missile crisis) when there were adults in the Kremlin and in the White House. On that occasion there was an amicable settlement. With the present leadership in Iran and Washington, I am skeptical there will be an agreement that prevents the launching of an attack–the result of which will be a catastrophe.

  • No, says John Pike of “If they had Farsi markings on them, how would (the Iranians) sell them internationally?” English, after all, is “the lingua franca of the international arms trade.”

    In other words, there may be 99 problems with allegations of Iranian-directed attacks on U.S. forces, but English markings ain’t one.

  • The fact that they happen to be wearing Iranian livery doesn’t make them anything other than what they are — early 70’s American fighter jets that the Shah bought and that the Iranian Air Force continues to fly. And adding a new tail to improve its low speed low altitude handling doesn’t make it a new jet either, it just makes it a better ground attack jet (about all a F-5 is good for nowdays, other than “target drone”).

  • And after all, we would expect to see Iranian weapons in Iraq anyhow, since Iran armed SCIRI’s Badr Brigade with Iranian weapons long before Li’l Georgie decided to invade Iraq (you might remember that SCIRI is the “Iraqi government” right now). The dates are the most interesting thing here though. As pointed out elsewhere, some of the munitions have 2006 dates, which proves that, err, Iran continues to arm the Badr Brigade. Not surprising. But the Badr Brigade isn’t attacking the U.S., the Badr Brigade is otherwise known as “most of the Iraqi Army other than the Peshmerga”.

  • I just pointed out the pics because of the English markings. English markings doesn’t mean it’s not Iranian. Also, those F-14s are several cuts above the F-5s. I’m glad they don’t have good missiles or pilots.

  • …maybe not. Kurt Nimmo at Globalresearch has the following to offer:

    According to a report offered by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, connected to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the neocon Brookings Institute, the smallest mortar produced by Iran is the 107mm M-30.

    See here and here.


  • …under the heading “Defence Production”, at the bottom of the page: 81mm mortar. As to why it’s not listed in the section on artillery on pages 14 and 15 – small mortars (60mm and 81/82mm) are pretty commonly thought of as batallion/company level assets. They’re thought of differently from artillery and the larger mortars. It’s not that the Iranians don’t have these assets, it’s just that they frequently aren’t mentioned in this type of summary, same as they don’t mention small arms, etc. Don’t ask me why they don’t mention it, they just don’t seem to.

    It’s been my experience that globalresearch does not have a terribly good track record when it comes to military affairs.

    As an aside it amuses me that the guy is linking to the same photo this thread linked to – I wonder whether they’re reading us? A still of an Iranian produced 81mm shell can be found here, from the website of the Iranian Defence Industries Organization.

    “Political Islam is a dream or a nightmare, but not a sociological reality.” – Olivier Roy, Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah

Leave a Reply