“Iran is preparing to train Russian forces,” says the White House National Security Advisor. Putin will visit the country next week
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Moscow is running out of precision weapons. To solve this problem, as stated Monday night by the White House National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, the Kremlin has looked at the technology that the Iranians have developed in recent years. “The Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia to several hundred unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including some with weapons capabilities, in an accelerated timeframe,” Sullivan said.
“Our information indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian forces in these UAVs, in training sessions scheduled to start in early July,” added the senior official, as part of the tour that the president Joe Biden carries out a series of countries in the Middle East promoting a political and military front against Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran has not commented on this accusation, which coincides with the announcement of the visit that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make to Iran next week.
At the end of October 2020, by virtue of what was agreed in the nuclear pact signed in 2015, the embargo on the sale of weapons that the UN had imposed on Iran ended. From the moment of that announcement it was speculated that Russia would sell its planes to Iran of combat. The war in Ukraine has turned the tables. After weeks of suffering serious material casualties against Ukrainian forces, who have just received American precision artillery, the Russians ask Iran for help.
Tehran does not consider itself an ally of Russia. Moreover, the increase in the flow of Russian crude to China, to counteract the reduction in sales in the West due to sanctions, is harming the discounted crude sales that Iran had been making to China due to its respective sanctions -to the benefit of Beijing-. . At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Iranian government turned a profile, denouncing NATO’s actions but avoiding open support for Vladimir Putin.
But economic interest commands. And in a war like the one in Ukraine, where the battlefield success of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones in Ukrainian hands is proving the importance of this weapon, Iran may have seen an opportunity to lay claim to its native technology. Or almost. Since the Iranian Armed Forces managed to hack an American RQ-170 Sentinel drone flying over their country in 2011 and replicate it through reverse engineering, their drone program has evolved.
Today, open source researchers estimate that Iran has nine types of combat drones and more than twenty different spy ships. Jake Sullivan accused Iran on Monday of having exported these devices to the Huz movement in Yemen, thanks to which it has been able to attack Saudi Arabia, the country it is fighting against. On May 17, Iran opened in Tajikistan, one of its clients, the first drone production plant abroad. The Ababil-2 attack drone will be manufactured there.
The apparent success of Iran’s drone development program, a country that for years has been unable to build a robust fleet of fighter jets, has put Israel on alert. According to the Al Mayadeen chain, Israeli drones destroyed an Iranian drone production line in the western province of Kermanshah last February. Neither Israelis nor Iranians expressed themselves in this regard. A few days later, an Iranian drone caused an explosion near a US base in northern Iraq.
The US decision to publish information on Russia’s plans with Iran coincides with its visit to two countries that until now, based on domestic interests, have remained on the sidelines of the West’s attempts to impose a broad sanctions regime. global against the Russians. Other countries in the region, such as the United Arab Emirates, are becoming luxury havens for prominent oligarchs and for your money.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism