Iran has started to manufacture its own carbon fibre, a material under UN embargo because of its widespread use in weapons programmes.
However, according to the Iran Composites Association, Iran has opened a production line for carbon fibre. And there’s no hiding behind a bike or tennis racquet motive: the composites programme is led by the military.
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who attended the factory’s opening ceremony, said only 10 countries in the world can produce carbon fibre.
He said carbon fibre can be used in the manufacture of military and non-military equipment.
On non-military usages, he said the material can be used in the manufacture of repositories, oil and gas rigs, wind turbines, electric fuel cells, non-military airplane fuselages and brake pads, train carriages. And, he added, sports equipment.
However, Iran may struggle to gain sufficient quantities of the polyacrylonitrile polymer necessary to fabricate carbon fibre yarn so don’t expect any ‘Made in Iran’ bicycles any time soon. In the meantime, you could watch this video of the opening of the carbon fibre factory: