The parties reached a secret agreement in early November during a meeting in Iran, the sources said. Representatives of the defense industry came from Russia. Work is now underway to transfer projects and key components. Production could start within a few months.
Having its own assembly line will allow Russia to dramatically increase its stockpiles of relatively inexpensive but highly destructive weapons systems. Iranian drones have changed the nature of the war in the last month, when Moscow launched massive attacks on energy infrastructure to deplete Kyiv and push it into negotiations. Western intelligence notes that since August, Russia has used more than 400 attack drones against Ukraine.
For Iran, this arrangement provides significant economic and political advantages. In addition, the authorities of the republic believe that production on the territory of the Russian Federation will avoid new sanctions that threaten Europe, the interlocutors of the publication add.
In October, the EU already introduced restrictions against the Iranian company Shahed Aviation Industries, which produces drones of the same name. The decision was explained by the “material support” of hostilities in Ukraine. On November 15, similar sanctions were imposed by the US Department of the Treasury, indicating that drones from Iran were used by Russian troops to attack the civilian population of Ukraine. In addition to Shahed Aviation Industries, the blacklist includes Success Aviation Services FZC and i Jet Global DMCC, which the agency considers responsible for transporting weapons to Russia.
In Kyiv, it was noted that Moscow had previously attempted to disguise the drones acquired from Iran by changing their name and color. But it has not yet carried out a complete assembly of devices on its territory.
According to US security officials and Ukrainian intelligence officials, Iran also promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, against which Ukraine has no effective defense yet. In particular, we are talking about the Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar ballistic missiles – they want to be delivered by air to the Crimea and by sea to Russian ports in the Caspian.
Iranian authorities deny all accusations of supplying Russia with weapons. However, in early November, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian nevertheless admitted that Tehran was transferring combat drones to Moscow. At the same time, he claims that these were small shipments sent before the start of the war in Ukraine. Russia denies the supply of weapons from Iran.