A kinetic modeling study of the effect of iron on the ignition and combustion characteristics of diesel, modeled as n-heptane, in compression ignition engines was carried out using CHEMKIN PRO. The ignition was simulated using the SENKIN code, and combustion was modeled using the OPPDIF code. The kinetic models incorporated n-heptane mechanisms involving 159 species and 1540 reactions and iron reaction mechanisms of 7 iron species and 46 reactions. It was found that small amounts of iron in the fuel significantly reduced the ignition delay time. The ignition delay time decreased with an increasing iron concentration. A reaction pathway analysis showed that the ignition was promoted as a result of an early injection of the OH radicals. It was also showed that the addition of iron increased the peak flame temperature of n-heptane in the counter-flow diffusion flame and reduced the maximum mole fractions of H and O in the peak flame region as a result of the catalytic recombination cycles involving FeO, Fe(OH)(2), and FeOH. The reaction rates of H + O-2 double left right arrow O + OH and CO + OH double left right arrow CO2 + H in the peak flame region were found to increase, which is considered to be responsible for the increased peak flame temperature.