Iranian delegation visited Yelabuga in western Russia on January 5, touring a potential site for such a factory. Such a facility could produce up to 6,000 Iranian-designed drones in the next few years for Russia to use in its ongoing war against Ukraine. Russia has been slamming the drones into Ukrainian energy infrastructure and other civilian targets.
Moscow and Tehran are moving ahead with plans to construct a drone-producing facility in Russia, including checking out a potential location. This is the most recent indication of the two countries’ growing ties, which has frightened Western nations.
An Iranian group reportedly visited Yelabuga in western Russia on January 5 and toured a potential location for such a facility, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The journal reported that such a facility might in the next years create up to 6,000 drones with Iranian design for Russia to employ in its continuing conflict with Ukraine, citing sources from an unnamed US partner.
Iranian Officials Travel To Russia For Drone Factories
Following the conclusion of a deal between Iran and Russia in November, The Washington Post reported that preparations for such a facility were in the works. According to the publication, Russian representatives travelled to Tehran to finalise and sign the agreement.
As Tehran and Moscow face more global isolation, Israel, the US, and many other Western nations have raised concerns about the growing cooperation between the two.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, relations between Iran and Russia have improved, with Iran providing assault drones that have dive-bombed infrastructure and other civilian targets all over Ukraine. After initially denying that it had provided Russia with weapons, Iran accepted the transfer of drones in November while asserting that it had occurred before to the start of the conflict, a claim that Western powers reject.
Moscow and Tehran strengthened their collaboration in the face of Western sanctions by taking a significant step last month toward connecting their banking networks.
The US had reportedly undertaken a significant effort to hamper Iran’s capacity to produce and transfer drones to Russia for use in the conflict in Ukraine, according to a December New York Times report.
The publication reported that the programme aimed to offer Ukraine the ability to shoot down any “kamikaze” drones that Russia does manage to acquire as well as to target their launch facilities, citing numerous security officials in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.
According to the New York Times, President Joe Biden’s administration is expanding on Jerusalem’s expertise stopping Iranian drone assaults and is collaborating closely with Israel on the matter.
The Biden administration claimed last month that Iran may be “contributing to widespread war crimes” by selling deadly drones to Russia for use in its continuing invasion of Ukraine.
Russian drone attacks have been hitting civilian areas including Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken sharply chastised Tehran for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis in a statement made last month regarding new US sanctions against an Iranian drone manufacturer cooperating with Moscow.
Iran has now surpassed China as Russia’s main military ally, according to a statement from Blinken. “We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to block and delay these transfers and impose penalties on actors participating in this activity. Iran must stop its backing for Russia’s unjustifiable campaign of aggression in Ukraine.”
The country can only create about 20 drones each month, which is far less than what Russia requires, according to some former Iranian military sources who have been published elsewhere.
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