Sources from US intelligence agencies that both Russia and Iran have finalised a deal to transfer drone designs and components which could further devastate Ukraine. The agreement was struck by Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council who visited the capital city Tehran in early November, it has been reported.
The Russian and Iranian officials also spoke of economic sanctions and other “Western interference” in their countries, according to state media.
An official told the Washington Post that the deal “is proceeding quickly from decision-making to implementation, it is moving fast and it has a lot of steam.”
They said: “Clearly the Russians are offering diplomatic and economic assistance. They’re also aware of the international pressure on Iran and they want to help mitigate that.”
Officials added that this new weaponry agreement represented a crucial development in the alliance between Iran and Russia, as the country has deployed more than 400 Iranian drones in its war with Ukraine since this summer.
Vladimir Putin bought hundreds of Iranian drones when he travelled to Iran in July but initially denied it.
However, it was revealed where the weaponry had come from after Russian weapons expert Ruslan Pukhov accidentally spoke about the matter when he didn’t realise his microphone was live.
He said: “We all know they are Iranian, but the authorities don’t want to admit it,” before he was cut off by a presenter.
Russia had rebranded the Shahed-136 Iranian drones as Geranium-2 and claimed the drones had been produced in their country.
However, they had been accused of using Iranian equipment by Ukraine when four people were killed in Kyiv last month in October.
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Britain has announced it will be sending technology to Ukraine in order to combat the drones, as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv this weekend and announced a $50million defence aid package.
On Saturday, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly accused Iran of producing “bloodshed and destruction” around the world after it a report revealed Russia was using Iranian drones.
He said: “The [Iranian] regime has resorted to selling Russia the armed drones that are currently killing civilians in Ukraine.
“As their people demonstrate against decades of oppression, Iran’s rulers are spreading bloodshed and destruction across the region and as far away as Kyiv.
“Britain is determined to work alongside our friends to counter the Iranian threat, [prohibit] the smuggling of conventional arms, and prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.”