Mycobacterium iranicum is a newly reported mycobacterial species. We present the first comparative study of M. iranicum UM-TJL and other mycobacteria. We found M. iranicum to have a close genetic association with environmental mycobacteria infrequently associated with human infections. Nonetheless, UM-TJL is also equipped with many virulence genes (some of which appear to be the consequence of transduction-related gene transfer) that have been identified in established human pathogens. Taken all together, our data suggest that M. iranicum is an environmental bacterium adapted for pathogenicity in the human host. This comparative study provides important clues and forms the basis for future functional studies on this mycobacterium.