Amid Western accusations and continued denials by both Tehran and Moscow of any arms sales to Russia, reports say Iran is now preparing its first shipment of Iranian short-range ballistic missiles. The US, meanwhile, is preparing to continue its crackdown on Iran for aiding Russia in the war against Ukraine.
A Washington Post report, citing an intelligence assessment, says Iran’s defense industry is preparing its first batch of Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles for Russia.
Following the Washington Post report, Politico reported Monday that the US intends to step up its crackdown on Iran to help Russia. The move could include sanctions and export controls on third parties helping Tehran and Moscow.
Ukraine condemned Iran for allegedly selling drones to Russia and called for Western sanctions on Tehran after several “kamikaze” drones hit the capital Kyiv on Monday, killing at least four people.
Meanwhile, according to the media report, Tehran denied selling Iranian arms to Russia, calling the allegations “based on political objectives” and “fueled by Western sources.”
“Iran has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the war between Russia and Ukraine,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, assuring that Tehran had not supplied any arms to any of the warring factions in Ukraine.
According to the Washington Post report, the two Iranian short-range ballistic missiles supplied to Russia are capable of hitting targets at ranges of 300 and 700 kilometers (about 200 to 400 miles) respectively. According to the report, it would be the first delivery of such missiles to Russia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
The report quoted missile experts as saying the powerful surface-to-surface missiles would give Russia more options and power at a time when Kyiv’s forces are retaking captured territory in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Russia has so far deployed Iranian Mohajer-6 and Shahed-136 drones, also known as kamikaze drones, which were used to target infrastructure and buildings in Kyiv on Monday. Russia has reportedly repainted these Iranian drones and given them Russian names to hide their origins.
While the Shahed-136 drones are relatively inexpensive drones programmed to automatically fly to a set of GPS coordinates with a charge of explosives, the Mohajer-6 is similar in size and functionality to the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB- 2 drone used by Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Washington fears that the earlier delivery of drones and the forthcoming delivery of short-range ballistic missiles will help Moscow replenish its rapidly depleting stockpile of weapons after eight months of war in Ukraine.
The US government on Friday warned against imposing sanctions on individuals, countries and companies that offer ammunition to Russia or support its military-industrial complex.
It was previously reported that Moscow has turned to pariah states like Iran and North Korea for shells and missiles amid global sanctions that have hampered its ability to maintain its military supply lines. Fears have also been voiced that the depletion of military resources could force Putin to delve into Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal in a bid to secure victory or at least freeze the conflict in Ukraine.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/iran-readies-short-range-ballistic-missile-deliveries-russia-us-plans-sanctions-report-1839631?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Iran prepares shipments of short-range ballistic missiles to Russia as US plans sanctions: report