White House claims Iran sent unmanned drones to Russia in exchange for radars and helicopters

The White House suggested that Russia has strengthened its military alliance with Iran, receiving hundreds of attack drones that it is currently using in the Ukraine conflict. The White House cited now-declassified information, which suggested Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were built in Iran and subsequently sent across the Caspian Sea, per Reuters

The news comes as the US Department of Defense (DoD) has sent $2.1 billion in the form of a “new security assistance package.” The large package includes “critical air defense and ammunition capabilities.” The US has provided Ukraine with $75 billion of support over the past 18 months.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said: "Russia has been using Iranian UAVs in recent weeks to strike Kyiv and terrorize the Ukrainian population, and the Russia-Iran military partnership appears to be deepening.”

“We are also concerned that Russia is working with Iran to produce Iranian UAVs from inside Russia.” Kirby went on to say that the US had gathered information suggesting that Russia is receiving necessary material from Iran in order to build a drone manufacturing plant that could be fully operational next year.

Kirby continued: “We are releasing satellite imagery of the planned location of this UAV manufacturing plant in Russia’s Alabuga Special Economic Zone.” He also mentioned that Russia has been providing Iran with other key tools, such as radars and helicopters, per the report.

The spokesman continued: “Russia has been offering Iran unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics, and air defense.”

“This is a full-scale defense partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to Iran’s neighbors, and to the international community. We are continuing to use all the tools at our disposal to expose and disrupt these activities including by sharing this with the public – and we are prepared to do more.”

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