Russia and Iran are planning to launch on Russian territory an enterprise for the production of Iranian-made drones, similar to those that the Russian army uses in attacks on Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal writes about this, citing its sources.
According to the interlocutors of the publication, on January 5, the Iranian delegation arrived in the Russian city of Yelabuga in Tatarstan. There, its members visited an empty site where a plant is planned to be built in the future.
According to their plans, the new enterprise will be able to produce at least 6,000 drones. The countries also plan to produce a faster drone that will be less vulnerable to Ukraine’s air defenses, according to the WSJ. The project itself is part of a $1 billion deal between the two countries.
The Iranian delegation was led by Brigadier General Abdollah Mehrabi, who is part of the leadership of the aerospace forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Gassem Damavandyan, the managing director of Quds Aviation Industry, an enterprise that the US estimates plays a key role in the production of Iranian drones.
Russian and Iranian officials did not respond to the paper’s requests for comment, The Wall Street Journal notes.
In December 2022, the administration of US President Joe Biden warned that Moscow and Tehran were considering building a joint drone production line in Russia.
In January, the US Department of Commerce imposed export restrictions on seven Iranian companies associated with the development and production of drones and components for them. Among them are enterprises of the aviation industry and the Air Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Earlier, the US Treasury imposed sanctions against Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center, Paravar, Design and Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines and Baharestan Kish, as well as Success Aviation Services FZC and iJet Global DMCC, which, according to US authorities, helped with the supply of Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles in Russia.
The sanctions also included six executives and members of the board of directors of Qods Aviation Industries (QAI), a key manufacturer of Iranian defense products, under US sanctions.
Kyiv accuses Moscow of using Iranian Shahed-136 drones in attacks on civilian and energy facilities. The Russian side officially denies these accusations. However, in October, a representative of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation let slip about the use of Iranian weapons during a live broadcast on the RBC TV channel. Later, Iran admitted that it supplied Russia with drones.
Leave a Reply