Iran is preparing to send about 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more strike drones, to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine, said Iran’s weapons program in detail. An official in the Western countries watching told CNN.
The shipment is being closely monitored and could give the Kremlin a substantial boost on the battlefield as it would be the first time Iran has sent an advanced precision-guided missile to Russia.
Officials say the last shipment of weapons from Iran to Russia includes about 450 drones, which the Russians have already used to deadly effect in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said last week they shot down more than 300 Iranian drones.
This new expected shipment marks a significant increase in Iranian support for Russia’s war effort. It is unclear exactly when the cargo will arrive in Russia, but officials believe the weapons will be delivered before the end of the year.
Drones have played a key role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, but since the summer when the US and Kyiv announced that Russia had acquired drones from Iran, the The use of drones is increasing. In recent weeks, these Iranian drones have been used to target critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.
Iran’s drones are known as ‘loitering munitions’. This is because they can circle for some time in areas identified as potential targets and attack only if enemy assets are identified.
They are small, portable, and easy to launch, but their main advantage is that they are difficult to detect and can be launched from great distances.
The US also alleges that Iran has sent military personnel to Crimea to support Russian drone strikes against Ukrainian targets.
Sending more Iranian weapons to Russia is a move likely to further sour relations with the United States. On Monday, US Ambassador to Iran Rob Murray said the Biden administration would not “waste time” negotiating to revive the nuclear deal “if nothing happens.” US imposes further sanctions on Iran after nationwide protests were cracked down in the wake of Tehran’s support for Russia in the Ukraine war and the death of her 22-year-old Martha Amini in September. I started to impose.
Earlier this month, National Security Council communications coordinator John Kirby said the presence of Iranian personnel was evidence of Tehran’s direct involvement in the conflict.
“We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea are operating Iranian UAVs and are using them to carry out attacks across Ukraine, including attacks against Kyiv,” Kirby said, referring to the unmanned aerial vehicle. said.
Murray on Monday strongly opposed Iran’s supply of drones.
“We know these drones are being used to target civilians and civilian infrastructure, and Iran, in the face of all this evidence, continues to lie and We know they deny it’s happening,” Murray said.
On Monday, a senior Pentagon official said he had no information to offer about suggestions that Iran was preparing to send missiles to Russia for use in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, a Pentagon spokesman said the United States is “concerned” that Russia may be “seeking to acquire additional advanced ammunition capabilities from Iran”.General Pat Ryder said Tuesday told reporters at a briefing on
“We are concerned that Russia may seek to acquire from Iran additional advanced ammunition capabilities for use in Ukraine, such as surface-to-surface missiles,” Ryder said.
Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuri Inat said Tuesday that Ukraine currently “does not have effective defenses against these (surface-to-surface) missiles. It is theoretically possible to shoot them down, but with current means. It is very difficult.”
Iran’s delegation to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment on the new expected shipments. Iran has previously denied supplying Russia with weapons for use in Ukraine and has said it has no intention of doing so.
The Washington Post first reported Iran’s plans to send missiles and additional drones to Russia.
Secretary of State Tony Brinken said last week that the United States was “looking at everything we can do, not just sanctions,” to stop Iranian weapons from going to Russia. He said the US is “trying to fragment these networks.”
However, despite growing concerns that Iran will send even more advanced weapons to Russia, it is unclear whether the United States will be able to ban further shipments.
U.S. officials also said they were aware of discussions about additional Iranian weapons that have yet to be delivered.
Last month, the United States imposed sanctions on air carriers involved in shipping Iranian drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Russia. The U.S. is also prepared to “target producers and purchasers” who contribute to the UAV program, said the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
Longevity and sustainability issues remain as it is unclear whether Iran can or will continue to provide Russia with weapons, including more advanced missiles. I’m here.