The White House said Monday that Russia is looking to buy additional advanced attack drones from Iran to use them in their war against Ukraine after using most of the 400 drones which it had previously purchased from Tehran.
Last year, the Biden administration released satellite images and intelligence findings that it said indicated Iran sold hundreds of attack drones to Russia. And for months, officials have said the United States believed Iran was considering selling hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia, but Washington had no evidence a deal had been consummated.
“Iran also continues to provide Russia with one-way attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Since August, Iran has provided Russia with more than 400 UAVs, mainly of the Shahed variety,” said the White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby.
“Russia has expended most of these UAVs, using them to attack critical Ukrainian infrastructure inside Ukraine. By providing Russia with these UAVs, Iran has been directly facilitating Russia’s war of aggression in UkraineKirby told reporters.
The latest revelation is part of a persistent trickle of intelligence findings from the administration to detail what US officials say is a deepening defense partnership between Russia and Iran. The US allegations are part of a broader effort to declassify and publish intelligence findings on Moscow’s prosecution of its nearly 15-month war in Ukraine in the hope of furthering Russia’s global isolation.
The administration says the Kremlin’s confidence in Iran and North Korea, countries largely isolated on the international stage by their nuclear programs and human rights records, shows desperation. That’s in the face of the Ukrainian resistance and the global coalition’s success in disrupting Russian military supply chains and denying replacement for weapons lost on the battlefield. The White House says Russia has turned to North Korea for artillery.
Iran has said it provided drones to Russia before the start of the war, but not since. North Korea has denied providing artillery to Russia.
The White House has said for months that it has seen worrying signs that military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran it could flow both ways.
Iran is looking to buy additional military equipment from Russia, including attack helicopters, radars and combat trainer aircraft YAK-130, according to the White House. And Iran announced last month that it had finalized a deal to buy Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.
The White House also said earlier that Russia and Iran were considering starting a drone assembly line in Russia for the Ukraine conflict.
“In total, Iran is seeking billions of dollars worth of military equipment from Russia,” Kirby said.
The new allegations come as Biden heads to Hiroshima, Japan, later this week for the Group of Seven summit, where the US president is expected to call on the leaders of some of the world’s largest economies. world to further tighten export controls and sanctions on Moscow.
(With information from EFE)
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