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March 21, 2023
The Russian government plans to manufacture approximately 6,000 Iranian-designed drones a year, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The joint plan to create a factory in Iran to manufacture the Iranian drones came on the heels of Iran making international headlines for supplying the Kremlin with weapons as its almost year-long assault on Ukraine continues. Iran has previously been caught supplying Russia with drones and short-range ballistic missiles for use in its invasion of Ukraine, and the latest news of a manufacturing plant that would build and arm Russia with more of the high-capability weapons that have caused havoc in Ukraine over recent months.
Western parts have been discovered in the remains of Iranian weapons used by Russia in Ukraine, highlighting Iran’s expansive worldwide arms operation. One drone recovered in Ukraine last year was found to contain about 82 percent western parts in spite of the drone being made in Iran.
Increasing US sanctions do not appear to be deterring Iran from working to arm Russia in its globally-condemned assault on Ukraine, and western officials have voiced concern over the deepening relationship between the two countries. Emil Avdaliani, Director of Middle East Studies at Geocase, told Foreign Policy, “The war in Ukraine changed how Russia viewed its ties with Iran. Before 2022, bilateral relations were characterized by ambivalence: high talks but little substance. … With the war, however, Russia’s turn to Asia has become complete and Iran’s support is now seen as critical in [the] Kremlin.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: INSS