US accuses Iran of aiding Russian drone factory near Moscow

The US government has accused Iran of assisting Russia in establishing a drone manufacturing facility near Moscow, indicating a deepening of their defence collaboration. According to a statement by White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, US intelligence has discovered that Iran has supplied material support for the plant, which could become operational early next year.

Furthermore, US officials have reiterated claims that Iran has sent hundreds of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Russia for deployment in Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine has intensified since the full-scale invasion in 2022. Kirby stated, “Russia has been using Iranian UAVs in recent weeks to strike Kyiv and terrorise the Ukrainian population, and the Russia-Iran military partnership appears to be deepening.”

The Biden administration, a significant supporter of Ukraine, had previously alleged that Iran and Russia were considering setting up a drone assembly line within Russia. US intelligence officials now believe the manufacturing plant is being established in the Alabuga special economic zone, located several hundred miles east of Moscow.

In recent years, Russia and Iran have indeed strengthened their partnership, increasing weapons sales and seeking ways to circumvent US-led efforts to economically isolate the two nations. However, Russia has denied using Iranian-made drones in Ukraine, while Iran has admitted to sending drones to Russia prior to the invasion in February 2022.

Despite this, the US has accused Iran of being complicit in the Russian invasion, which has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of almost 14 million people, according to the United Nations. Kirby stated that Iran has continued to send drones to Russia, transporting them across the Caspian Sea to the Russian port of Makhachkala. The Biden administration has previously sanctioned Iranian defence firms involved in drone production.

In a March statement announcing further sanctions, the US Treasury said, “Iran’s well-documented proliferation of UAVs and conventional weapons to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability.”

Last month, Ukraine imposed a package of sanctions against Iran due to its close partnership with Russia. Ukraine has also claimed that Iranian-made drones have been used in Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities, resulting in civilian casualties. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy questioned Iranians if they wished to be “accomplices in Russian terror,” a statement dismissed by Tehran as a “political show.”

Conversely, Russia has accused Ukraine of using drones to launch attacks within its borders. Earlier this week, Russia reported that a drone crashed into a residential building in the city of Voronezh and blamed Ukraine for a series of drone attacks in Moscow in late May.

World News

Matthew Coles

Matthew is a British journalist with a unique flair in reporting about the latest news and events happening in Europe. Matthew focuses on producing well-researched, balanced, and narrative-driven content related to both national and regional interests across various European countries. He is passionate about discovering the diverse cultures found within Europe and showcasing them through his insightful articles.

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