December 6, 2022

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According to Zelensky, Russia has launched nearly 5,000 missiles at Ukraine

Russia is planning to develop attack drones with the help of Iran for use in the war in Ukraine, according to an intelligence report

Following a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine on October 17, local residents found parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that Ukrainian authorities believed to be an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone. (Vladislav Musienko/Reuters)

Iran and Russia have reached an agreement to begin production of attack drones on Russian soil, according to a new intelligence assessment by a country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program.

Iran is beginning to transfer drone blueprints and components to Russia following an initial deal reached earlier this month, a source familiar with the assessment said.

US officials say Russia has received hundreds of drones from Tehran.

Earlier this month, Iran’s government admitted for the first time that it had sent a small number of drones to Russia months before it launched its invasion of Ukraine.

“Some Western countries have accused Iran of helping the war in Ukraine by providing drones… Yes, we provided a small number of drones to Russia a few months before the war in Ukraine started,” Iran’s foreign minister said. Affairs, Hossein Amiraptolahian, to reporters in Tehran.

The source explained that the goal is for Russia to produce thousands of new attack drones using Iranian components and blueprints. If both countries go full steam ahead with their plans, production could start in a few months and the drones could be used by Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine next year, the source said.

It would be a move that would further cement the alliance between Tehran and Moscow and draw the ire of its Western allies, including Ukraine and the United States.

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The Washington Post was the first publication to report on the deal.

Some context: The moves come after CNN and other outlets reported that Iran was preparing to send weapons to Russia, including short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and several attack drones, by the end of the year.

A source familiar with the assessment said the reports caused concern in Iran, prompting Iran to reconsider its approach with plans to have Russia produce drones instead of directly replacing them.

The production process for attack drones is not complicated compared to the production of other weapons, the source explained.

CNN has reached out to the Russian embassy in Washington and Iran’s mission to the United Nations for comment.

Asked for comment on the assessment, White House National Security Council spokesman Adrian Watson said: “Iran and Russia can lie to the world, but they can’t hide the facts: Tehran is helping kill civilians. Both Iran and Russia, by supplying weapons to Ukrainians and aiding Russia in its operations, It’s another sign of how isolated they are.”

Why is this agreement important?Drones have played a key role in the conflict since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, but their use has increased since the summer when the U.S. and Kiev said they bought drones from Iran. In recent weeks, these Iranian drones have been used to attack critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.

Some are known as Iranian drones “Discount Ammunition” This is because they can roam around an area identified as a potential target for a short time and attack only when an enemy asset is identified.

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They are small, compact and can be easily thrown, but their main advantage is that they are difficult to detect and can be shot from a distance.