WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Monday said that Russia is looking to buy additional advanced attack drones from Iran for use in the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine after using up most of the 400 drones it had previously purchased from Tehran.
The Biden administration last year publicized satellite imagery and intelligence findings that it said indicated Iran sold hundreds of attack drones to Russia. For months, officials have publicly stated that the United States believed Iran was considering selling hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia, but Washington did not have evidence a deal was consummated.
“Iran also continues to provide Russia with one-way attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Since August, Iran has provided Russia with more than 400 UAVs primarily of the Shahed variety,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
“Russia has expended most of these UAVs, using them to target Ukrainian critical infrastructure inside Ukraine. By providing Russia with these UAVs, Iran has been directly enabling Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine,” Kirby told reporters.
The latest revelation is part of a persistent drip of intelligence findings from the administration to detail what U.S. officials say is a deepening defense partnership between Russia and Iran.
It’s part of broader administration effort to declassify and publicize intelligence findings of Moscow’s prosecution of it’ nearly 15-month old war in Ukraine in hopes of furthering drive global isolation of Russia.