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US accuses Russia of supplying weapons and fighter jets to Iran

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The Biden administration accuses Russia of providing advanced military assistance to Iran, including air defense systems, helicopters and fighter jets, as part of deepening cooperation between the two nations as Tehran provides drones to support Vladimir Putin invasion of ukraine.

On Friday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby cited US intelligence assessments for the allegations, saying Russia was offering Iran “an unprecedented level of military and technique that transforms their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership”.

Kirby said Russia and Iran are considering setting up a drone assembly line in Russia for the Ukraine conflict, while Russia is training Iranian pilots on the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter and Iran may receive aircraft deliveries during the year.

“These fighter jets will significantly strengthen the Iranian Air Force compared to its regional neighbors,” Kirby said.

The US allegations are part of a deliberate US effort to cause Russia’s global isolation, in this case targeting Arab nations that have sought to contain Iran’s regional malevolence and failed to embrace a firm stance against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As Russia’s military resources are taxed by the invasion of Ukraine and penalties against it because of the war, Western powers provide military equipment to Ukraine to defend itself, increasing the cost for Putin, reminiscent of the depletion of resources that occurred during the “Star Wars” competition between the United States and the former Soviet Union, when Moscow saw its military coffers depleted.

Sukhoi Su-35 military fighter jet
A Sukhoi Su-35 military fighter jet at the International Military-Technical Forum at the Kubinka military training ground in Moscow, Russia, August 18, 2022.

Pavel Pavlov/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


Earlier this year, the Biden administration accused Saudi Arabia of siding with Russia in the conflict in shepherd’s cups by the OPEC+ cartel to drive up the price of oil, crucial to financing Moscow’s war effort. Saudi Arabia and Iran have clashed in a years-long proxy war in Yemen.

Kirby said the arms transfers were in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and that the United States “would use the tools at its disposal to expose and disrupt these activities.”

Concerns over a ‘deepening and burgeoning defense partnership’ between Russia and Iran come as the Biden administration has repeatedly accused Iran of aiding Russia in its invasion of Ukraine .

The administration says Iran sold hundreds of attack drones to Russia over the summer. Kirby on Friday reiterated the administration’s belief that Iran was considering selling hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia, but acknowledged that the United States does not have “perfect visibility into Iranian thinking on the reasons for which” the agreement has not been concluded.

Russia – because of tough sanctions – is turning to Iran for weapons, including military drones, which are being used to kill civilians, Britain’s UN ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council on Friday. UN security. Woodward has called for a UN investigation, arguing that the two countries are breaking international law with the rogue partnership.

Woodward accused Russia of trying to get more weapons from Iran, including hundreds of ballistic missiles, in return for an “unprecedented level of military and technical support” to Tehran.

“We are concerned that Russia intends to supply Iran with more advanced military components, which will allow Iran to strengthen its weapons capability,” she said. “It is therefore imperative that the truth about Iran’s supply to Russia be exposed and investigated by the UN as soon as possible.”

“Ukraine demands that Iran immediately cease arms deliveries to Russia which are used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure, and comply with Security Council resolutions,” Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya said on Friday. from Ukraine to the UN, to CBS News correspondent Pamela Falk.

At a Friday UN Security Council meeting convened by Russia to assess the impact of Western weapons injected into Ukraine, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia again denied that Iran was supplying arms to Ukraine.

“The military-industrial complex in Russia can work perfectly and does not need anyone’s help, while the Ukrainian military industry basically does not exist and is assisted by Western industry and companies,” he said. he declared.

At the meeting, Richard Mills, US deputy ambassador to the UN, told his fellow diplomats on Friday that “what we see is that – frustrated on the battlefield, Russia has had resort to destroying Ukraine’s critical and energy infrastructure from afar, causing immense civilian suffering as we heard just three days ago, and defying the international community’s call to end its assault,” Falk reported.


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“It was Russia that cynically called for this meeting, alleging an illicit plot to transfer arms from Ukraine. When in fact, as others around this table have noted, it is Russia which is complicit in Iran’s illegal transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia,” Mills added.

The White House says Russia has also turned to North Korea for artillery as the nine-month war progresses. North Korea has denied this allegation.

The White House has repeatedly sought to highlight Russia’s dependence on Iran and North Korea, another nation largely isolated on the international stage, for support as it continues its war against the Ukraine.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly called the Iran-Russia collaboration a “desperate alliance”.

“Iran is now one of Russia’s main military backers,” he said. “Their sordid deals saw the Iranian regime send hundreds of drones to Moscow, which were used to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and kill civilians.

“In return, Russia offers military and technical support to the Iranian regime, which will increase the risk it poses to our partners in the Middle East and to international security.

The Biden administration recently unveiled sanctions against Iranian companies and entities involved in transferring Iranian drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. It all comes as the administration condemned the Islamic republic’s violent crackdown on protests that erupted across Iran following the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in the custody of vice police. .

Even though the White House has accused Iran of supporting Russia’s war effort, the administration has not given up on the possibility of reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – scuttled by the Trump administration in 2018. The pact, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, would provide Tehran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for the country agreeing to bring its nuclear program back to limits set by the 2015 agreement.

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