According to representatives of the Biden administration, Russia has experienced technical difficulties with Iran-made drones it purchased from Tehran this month for use in its conflict with Ukraine.
Russia Acquires Iran-made Drones
The Mohajer-6 and Shahed series drones, produced in Iran, are the two types of drones sent to Russia. According to the Iranian adviser and American officials familiar with the transfer, Russian operators are undergoing drone training in Iran.
According to remarks made by the Iranian military to local news media, the Shahed series is thought to be one of the most capable of Iran’s military drones. The Mohajer-6 can perform observation and surveillance operations.
With at least four decades of design and production experience, Iran is a pioneer in drone technology. It has been supplying military units and proxies’ militias in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza with combat drones. Israeli, American, and certain Sunni Arab governments, including Saudi Arabia, have expressed worry that Iran’s developing drone capability could destabilize the area and strengthen Iranian-backed militias.
Iranian drones have attacked ships and targeted American military installations in Iraq and Syria as part of the covert conflict between Iran and Israel. Israel has also bombed a covert location in western Iran where it was rumored that hundreds of drones were kept.
The officials did not go into detail about the “many failures” while speaking under the condition of anonymity to discuss the U.S. intelligence assessment. The delivery of Mohajer-6 and Shahed-series uncrewed aerial vehicles over several days this month, they said, is most likely a part of a Russian scheme to acquire hundreds of Iranian UAVs, according to the U.S.
Despite American cautions to Tehran not to send them, Russia recently acquired hundreds of Iranian drones capable of being deployed in its conflict with Ukraine. The Washington Post initially revealed Russia’s technical issues with the Iranian drones.
These systems, which are capable of conducting air-to-surface assaults, electronic warfare, and targeting, are still being trained by Russian operators in Iran, according to the authorities.
Last month, satellite images were made public by the Biden administration, showing that Russian officials visited Kashan Airfield on June 8 and July 5 to see the Iranian drones. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser for the White House, claimed that the administration had “knowledge that the Iranian government is getting ready to give Russia several hundred UAVs.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, stated on Monday that the government had “no update” regarding whether the drones had been delivered. He continued that procurement and delivery are still looming and are still in the offing, adding that the U.S. has “seen nothing that gives us a sense of comfort.”
When the White House also urges Tehran to resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, administration sources confirmed specifics about Iran providing Russia with drones. Last week, the government examined Iran’s remarks on a European plan to revive the agreement negotiated during President Barack Obama’s presidency and canceled by then-President Donald Trump in 2018.
Russia is looking to Iran as a significant partner and supplier of weaponry due to the economic sanctions and restrictions placed on it due to its invasion of Ukraine. This month, according to the officials, Russian planes were equipped with the UAV gear at an Iranian airfield for several days before the weapons were transported to Russia.
Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, stated last month that Moscow and Teheran have “different sorts of partnership, including in the defense industry.” However, he added, “We won’t support either of the warring parties because we think that it (the conflict) needs to be ended.
Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, will visit Sergey V. Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss the most recent nuclear deal negotiations, the Iranian foreign ministry stated on Monday.
Iran’s military agreement with Russia is a component of a bigger plan by the Islamic Republic to turn toward developing strategic security alliances with Russia and economic alliances with China.
For its part, Russia has discovered a welcome new ally in Iran to assist it in evading the sanctions imposed by the majority of the international community after it invaded Ukraine. In July, President Vladimir V. Putin visited Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the nation’s top leader, and other important figures.