Shipment courier

Iran prepares 1,000 missiles and drones for shipment to Russia

Iran is preparing a massive arms delivery of 1,000 missiles and drones for Russia which will significantly contribute to Moscow’s war in Ukraine, it has been reported.

The Russian campaign will receive a major boost with the delivery of hundreds more suicide drones and, more worryingly, short-range ballistic missiles supplied by Tehran, experts have said. The National.

It is understood the shipment is being closely watched by Western intelligence, especially as it will be the first time Iran has exported surface-to-surface missiles, potentially the Shahab or Zolfaghar weapons.

The weapons are expected to arrive on Russian territory before the end of this year.

Military experts said The National that the new supply line means that Russia cannot be “excluded” from the war, because Iran has a large stockpile of missiles.

“Iran has developed a huge amount of short-range ballistic missiles and supplied this technology to the Houthis. [in Yemen]they’ve also used similar technology in attacks on US bases, so we have foreknowledge of what they can do,” said Sam Cranny-Evans of the Rusi think tank.

The new missiles would also allow Russia to “continue to target the Ukrainian population with greater lethality and destruction” in the coming months, he added.

Furthermore, it will also allow Moscow to “fill a hole over the winter” as it tries to replenish its own stockpile of depleted missiles, made more difficult by international sanctions.

But British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace also admitted that large-scale production of the NLAW anti-tank missiles, which played a significant role in the war in Ukraine, could take more than a year as stocks have run out. “emptied”. .

“When you try to warm up the NLAW supply chain, you find out there’s a shortage of optics or explosives and you have to start all over again and that can take 18 months,” he said on Tuesday. to a parliamentary committee.

Iran has already exported around 450 Shahed drones which Russia has used to terrorize the civilian population and destroy Ukraine’s power grid. The Shahed-136 has a range of 2,000 kilometers carrying a 40 kilogram warhead, although Kyiv claims to have shot down more than 300 of the slow aircraft.

Robert Malley, the US envoy to Iran, told CNN on Monday that the drones were being used to “target civilians and civilian infrastructure”, as reports of arms delivery also surfaced in The Washington Post.

He added: “We know that Iran, in the face of all this evidence, continues to lie and deny that this is happening.”

Iran is playing a high-stakes game by also sending military personnel to annexed Crimea to train the Russians in drone piloting.

Politics has already affected stalled negotiations to reimpose the nuclear deal with the West in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

And the impending weapons shipment comes as the regime continues to face significant pressure from within following large protests following the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody following her arrest for not having worn the headscarf correctly.

Iran has denied supplying weapons to Russia, with an official previously saying it “did not and will not”.

But Ukraine is also racing to produce its own armada of unmanned aerial vehicles, including models capable of shooting down other drones, the country’s digital development minister said.

The “drone war” will be the “next stage in the development of ideas”, says Mikhail Fedorov Forbes magazine. Ukraine had contracted 1,033 models, almost three quarters of which have already been delivered and the rest are expected in the coming weeks.

The potential for a new form of warfare is now evolving in the skies above Ukraine, which is also likely to bring more civilian deaths and further destruction.

Updated: November 01, 2022, 5:57 p.m.