WASHINGTON, US — Iran and Russia want to build a factory in Russia that could supply more than 6,000 Iranian-designed drones for the war in Ukraine. As European Truth reports, The Wall Street Journal writes about this with reference to officials from the country that is in allied relations with the USA.
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According to officials, a high-ranking Iranian delegation flew to Russia in early January to visit the site where the plant is planned to be built and discuss details of the project’s launch. According to them, both countries are striving to create a faster drone that could create new problems for Ukrainian air defense.
According to the publication, the negotiations turned into concrete plans after the visit of the Iranian delegation to the Russian city of Yelabuga on January 5. They looked at the empty site where the leaders of both countries plan to build a new plant.
According to officials, the Iranian delegation was led by Brigadier General Abdullah Mehrabi, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Jihad Research and Self-Reliance Organization, and Ghasem Damavandian, head of Iran’s Quds Aviation Industry, a key defense manufacturer that the U.S. believes that it plays a central role in the development and creation of drones in the country.
Until now, Iran has mainly supplied Russia with so-called kamikaze drones, known as the Shahed-136, which contain small amounts of explosives that detonate when the drones hit a target.
Russia is using drones to attack Ukraine’s energy systems. Subsequently, the Ukrainian Air Defense managed to largely neutralize the threat of unmanned aircraft. The Shahed-136 is a slow-moving and noisy propeller-driven drone, so it’s relatively easy to detect and shoot down.
Now, according to officials, Iran is developing the Shahed-136 with Russia, which is expected to be equipped with a new engine that will allow it to fly faster and farther. The new plant will produce an improved drone. This could create new problems for Ukraine and other countries that may become drone targets.
The plant has not yet been built, so the production line is not expected to have an immediate impact on the balance of power in Ukraine.
As a reminder, on February 3, the US Treasury introduced sanctions against eight high-ranking officials of the Iranian drone manufacturer in response to Tehran’s supply of drones to Russia for the war against Ukraine.
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