US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that Iran is moving rapidly to provide Russia with hundreds of its domestically-manufactured drones to bolster the Kremlin’s war effort against Ukraine.
The US has information suggesting Tehran “is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs, on an expedited timeline,” Jake Sullivan stated.
As Moscow’s forces continue to suffer battlefield losses amid its slowly grinding offensive in eastern Ukraine, Iran is further preparing to train Russian forces on its drones as soon as this month, Sullivan said.
The intelligence on which he was basing his claims was not specified.
In part to prevent the country from replenishing its war stocks, the US and its Western allies have worked to implement sweeping sanctions on Russia that included imposing export restrictions on key dual-use technologies, including drones.
In April, DJI, a China-based leader in drone technologies, announced that it would suspend its operations in Russia due to Western sanctions that were imposed in retaliation for Russia’s war.
Iran’s decision to send drones to Russia is further proof that Moscow’s war stocks have been badly depleted by its war in Ukraine and its gains in the country’s east have come “at a cost to the sustainment of its own weapons,” Sullivan indicated.
Sullivan added that similar unmanned weapons were provided by Iran to Yemen’s Houthi rebels before a cease-fire agreement was reached earlier this year.