Iran would be ready to send Russia approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and more attack drones.
Iran could soon arm Russia with surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles, three US and Western government officials said, in what would be a significant escalation of Iranian support for President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
In recent weeks, the United States and at least one allied nation have seen signs that Iran is preparing to transfer the weapons, the officials said, though it is unclear how close Iran is to shipping them. As of now, the US has no indication the missiles have been sent, a senior defense official said.
If delivered, they would be the first advanced precision-guided missiles Iran has provided to Russia since the war began. The short-range ballistic missiles have a range of hundreds of miles and could help Moscow replenish its dwindling stockpiles, which have been depleted by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Two of the officials say the surface-to-surface missiles are expected to be part of a tranche of about 1,000 additional weapons, including more armed drones, that Iran could transfer to Russia later this year.
“We remain concerned about the possibility of Iran providing Russia with surface-to-surface missiles,” White House National Security Council adviser John Kirby said.
“They are very actively involved in supporting Russia and its efforts to kill innocent Ukrainians and damage Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure,” he continued.
The Washington Post and CNN previously reported on indications that Iran could supply ballistic missiles to Russia.
Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, told reporters that Ukrainian forces would do everything possible to counter any Iranian missiles Russia places on Ukraine’s northern border. Still, he said, Ukraine only has air defense systems, not missile defense, which makes that task extremely difficult.
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