This news story is hard to believe. I read somewhere that in 1979, when the Shah was overthrown, the U.S. Defense Contractors who were help maintaining the Fleet essentially disabled the planes.
The ravages of time and inability to get parts probably hamstrung the Iranians to put together only a small number of jets.
I was working as a technician for a defense contractor when the Shah was overthrown. One of the things being manufactured was a key component for the actuators on the variable geometry wing of the Tomcat. The pieces that were part of the purchase order from the Iranians got damaged (deliberately) by the shop workers.
Did the Soviets wind up doing some reverse engineering of the Tomcat? The Mullahs did provide samples of the Phoenix and the radar.