Iran has sent Russia hundreds of drones that are being used to attack Ukraine, the White House said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, citing newly declassified information, on Friday said that the one-way attack drones, or “Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles,” were built in Iran and shipped across the Caspian Sea to be used by Russia.
“Russia has been using Iranian UAVs in recent weeks to strike Kyiv and terrorize the Ukrainian population, and the Russia-Iran military partnership appears to be deepening,” Kirby said.
“We are also concerned that Russia is working with Iran to produce Iranian UAVs from inside Russia,” he continued.
Kirby also said that the US had information that Russia had been receiving materials from Iran to make a drone manufacturing plant that could be operational by early next year.
“We are releasing satellite imagery of the planned location of this UAV manufacturing plant in Russia’s Alabuga Special Economic Zone,” he said.
The US has sanctioned Iranian executives in the past over drone supplies to Russia and Iran has acknowledged that it has sent drones to Russia in the past, but claimed they were sent before the Ukrainian invasion.
Moscow has denied claims that it has been using Iranian drones in Ukraine.
“This is a full-scale defense partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to Iran’s neighbors, and to the international community,” Kirby said. “We are continuing to use all the tools at our disposal to expose and disrupt these activities including by sharing this with the public – and we are prepared to do more.”
With Post Wires