The Zulfiqar is of low profile in design and conventional in its layout. An autoloading system - said to be based on that of the Soviet T-72 series -allows the crew to consist of just three personnel (as opposed to the Western standard of four) with the driver situated at the front center hull and the commander and gunner in the traversing turret. While autoloaders help to reduce crew responsibilities, they are technologically complex systems and generally supply a slower rate-of-fire when compared to traditional manual-loading systems featured in such tanks as the M1 Abrams. The engine is contained in a rear-set compartment to protect the vital system from enemy fire. The turret features angular armor for basic ballistics protection and sports the 125mm smoothbore main gun (a fume extractor is clearly noted along the barrel's midway point). A coaxial 7.62mm machine gun is operated by the gunner alongside the main gun and useful for when the 125mm armament is deemed "overkill". The commander can access an externally-mounted 12.7mm Soviet-style anti-aircraft heavy machine gun while a second, and possibly third, 7.62mm machine gun is mounted along the turret roof. Smoke grenade dischargers are present along the turret sides (or perhaps front panels), straddling either side of the main gun's base.
Power is supplied by an unknown mark of 12-cylinder diesel engine developing 780 horsepower. This allows the tank a purported top speed of 43 miles per hour with an operational range of approximately 280 miles. In keeping with Soviet tank practices, it is not entirely unfounded that external fuel tanks may be affixed to the rear hull of the tank for increased operational ranges (as commonly seen on Soviet/Russian T-72s). The engine is mated to a SPAT 1200 series automatic transmission system featuring six total running gears.
The gunner is afforded a digital fire control system of Slovenian design. The system is adept enough to allow for on-the-move firing as commonly associated with other modern combat tanks, putting her on par with her contemporaries worldwide. NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection and nightvision is assumed as standard for the crew. A laser rangefinder is believed to have been a recent addition to the tank design.
The Zulfiqar has since seen three distinct marks to her lineage known simply as "Zulfiqar "1, "Zulfiqar 2" and "Zulfiqar 3". The Zulfiqar 1 was the initial developmental model appearing in 1994 that brought about the birth of the Zulfiqar family line. At least six prototypes of the type were constructed and extensively evaluated into the late 1990s. The Zulfiqar 2 model was a developmental variant fitting a new engine into a lengthened hull. The Zulfiqar 3 model has evolved into the definitive Zulfiqar to date, fitted with an all-new autoloading system and fire control suite to improve her battlefield lethality.
Currently (2018), the Iranian Army can field up to 150 Zulfiqar 1 MBT models alongside 100 Zulfiqar 3 series models. One prototype was completed of the Zulfiqar 2.