Iran is readying to supply Russia with surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and suicide drones for use in Ukraine.
“Iran’s widening radius of drone proliferation continues to prove that bad actors in the Middle East do not stay quarantined,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Ben Taleblu told Fox News Digital.
Taleblu’s comments come after a Washington Post report Sunday revealed that Western security officials believe intelligence indicates Russia will purchase Iranian-made Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar short-range missiles with the first shipment expected soon, after the deal was finalized last month.
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The missile sales come after reports surfaced last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps troops traveled to Crimea to train Russian forces on the use of Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. The “kamikaze drones” have been used recently to attack areas around Kyiv, with the Ukrainian National Resistance Center alleging the drones have also been used on civilian targets in other areas of the country.
“They [Iranian instructors] teach the Russians how to use kamikaze drones, and directly monitor the launch of drones on Ukrainian civilian targets, including strikes on Mykolaiv and Odesa,” the organization said last week.
Western officials believe that Iran has been supplying Russia with drones since at least August, an accusation both Russia and Iran have denied.
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Tehran’s apparently warming relationship with Moscow has come at a critical time for the Russian war effort, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov claiming last week that Russia was close to depleting its high-precision missile arsenal.
“By using hundreds of high-precision missiles against civilian objects of Ukraine, the aggressor state reduces its ability to strike the military targets,” Reznikov said.
Some reports have even indicated that Russia has begun using S-300 anti-air munitions for attacks on ground targets, a sign that Moscow may look to friendly nations such as Iran for help to increase its stock of weapons.
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“With the potential for missiles to be transferred by Iran to Ukraine, one has to begin to consider the Islamic Republic as a combatant on the side of Russia in the Ukraine war,” Taleblu said. “Indeed, if Iranian heavily armed suicide drones are striking Kyiv, then there’s no room left to entertain the fiction that Iran is just a passive partner in this conflict.”