Based on an extensive analysis of open-source data and materials, this paper examines the emergence and evolution of Iran’s Mohajer-6 midrange surveillance and attack drone and other models within the context of the regional arms race involving this rapidly expanding technology. This paper argues that before the UN arms embargo against Iran expired in October 2020, the Islamic Republic used the Mohajer-6 and other drones for domestic counterinsurgency and exported them to predominantly quasi- or non-state partners and proxies in the Middle East. Before 2020, Iran witnessed how the drones of its regional rivals, namely, Turkey and the UAE, with first-mover advantage turned the tide of nearby conflicts in Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh, where the Islamic Republic was also involved on the same or opposing side. Consequently and since 2021, Iran has been more active and assertive in the global military drone market, as evidenced by Tehran’s export of the Mohajer-6 to the Ethiopian government during the Tigray War (2020–present), alongside Ankara and Abu Dhabi. Like Turkey, Iran has on its own and through its rivals learned lessons of drone usage across conflicts rather than simply within them and has leveraged the technology to advance extra-regional foreign policy ambitions.