Iran is preparing a shipment of 1,000 weapons to Russia including attack drones and “short-range ballistic missiles” for use in the war against Ukraine, CNN reported Tuesday.
The source, from a Western nation monitoring such shipments, told CNN it would be the first time Iran is sending “advanced precision guided missiles” to Russia, giving them a “significant boost on the battlefield.”
According to the report, Ukraine already shot down more than 300 Iranian drones from its last shipment of 450 drones, which Russia has used “with deadly effect” in the war.
While the drones are playing a large role in the conflict because of their ability to circle an area before striking a target once it is identified, the missiles represent an escalation in Iran’s support for Russia and its President Vladimir Putin, the report said.
On Oct. 18, Reuters reported that Iran and Russia agreed on the missile and drone shipment, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The news outlet said Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber and two other senior Iranian officials from its Revolutionary Guards visited Moscow to discuss the delivery of the weapons.
“The Russians had asked for more drones and those Iranian ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, particularly the Fateh and Zolfaghar missiles family,” one of the Iranian diplomats, who was briefed about the trip, told Reuters. “Where they are being used is not the seller’s issue. We do not take sides in the Ukraine crisis like the West. We want an end to the crisis through diplomatic means.”
According to the report, the Fateh and Zolfaghar short-range ballistic missiles can strike targets between 186 and 435 miles away.
“They [Russians] wanted to buy hundreds of our missiles, even mid-range ones, but we told them that we can ship soon a few hundred of their demanded Zolfaghar and Fateh 110 short-range, surface-to-surface missiles,” an Iranian security official told the news outlet. “I cannot give you the exact time, but soon, very soon those will be shipped in two to three shipments.”
On Monday, U.S. Iranian envoy Rob Malley said such shipments of weapons is deteriorating chances of the United States and Iran agreeing to terms on reinstating the nuclear deal made during the term of former President Barack Obama.
“We know that those drones have been used to target civilians and civilian infrastructure. And we know that Iran, in the face of all of this evidence, keeps lying and denying that it’s happening,” Malley told CNN on Monday, adding that negotiations on the nuclear deal at this time would “waste our time.”
Source » newsmax