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Iran is the largest maritime commerce power in the Middle East, according to the CIA.


The CIA assessment highlights Iran’s significant influence in the shipping industry of the Middle East, emphasizing its position as the foremost maritime commerce force in the region. The paper provides an analysis of the data, which illuminates the considerable magnitude and varied composition of Iran’s fleet, thereby reinforcing its prevailing role in the domain of regional maritime commerce.

Iran possesses a substantial fleet of 942 ships, positioning itself as a prominent player in the maritime commerce of the Middle East. The fleet in question comprises a total of 32 bulk carriers, 31 container ships, 83 oil tankers, 393 general cargo ships, and 403 vessels of various other classifications. The presence of a wide range of vessel types in Iran’s maritime trade reflects the country’s inclusive strategy, facilitating the movement of diverse goods, commodities, and resources such as oil, general cargo, and specialized items.

The report’s findings indicate that Iran plays a significant role in regional trade networks, as it is responsible for or connected to more than 34% of all shipping activities in the Middle East. The significant proportion mentioned indicates Iran’s vital role in facilitating the transportation of commodities and materials throughout the Middle East, highlighting its broad economic influence and trading networks.

In contrast, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, with 636 and 413 vessels respectively, follow Iran in the rankings. However, it is important to note that their fleets, although substantial, are comparatively smaller in terms of sheer scale when compared to Iran’s. Although these countries are significant actors in their own right, they are surpassed by Iran in terms of the overall quantity of ships, indicating Iran’s dominant position in maritime affairs within the region.

The marine capabilities of Iran not only enhance its economic strength but also emphasize its strategic importance in the global trade environment. The results of the CIA assessment depict Iran as a dominant force in maritime affairs, exerting significant influence and assuming a crucial role in determining trade patterns in the Middle East.

Iran’s huge fleet, together with its advantageous geographical location and rich maritime history, solidifies its status as the predominant marine trading force in the Middle East, hence enhancing its influence on regional and global trade dynamics.

The CIA report provides insight into Iran’s prominent position in the maritime trade sector of the region, highlighting its considerable fleet size, varied vessel composition, and substantial role in facilitating the transportation of goods. This underscores Iran’s status as the primary maritime trade power in the Middle East.

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