Iran has agreed to help Russia with attack drone production, according to The Washington Post.
Russia has not officially confirmed that drones it has used in Ukraine were Iranian.
A Russian defense advisor was caught on a hot mic last month saying "we all know the drones are Iranian."
Iran has agreed to aid Russia with unmanned attack drones for its ongoing war in Ukraine, according to a report by The Washington Post that cited unnamed US officials.
Russia's unprovoked war on Ukraine has persisted since February, despite Russian forces retreating from areas in the southern in recent weeks. Over the course of the last nine months, reports of war crimes, including rape and torture, against Ukrainian civilians have surfaced, with suicide drones being used to spread "terror and chaos," experts have said. Russia has used more than 400 Iranian-made drones in its war against Ukraine, according to The Post.
While Russia has not officially confirmed the allegations that its using Iranian drones, Ruslan Pukhov, an advisor to Russia's defense ministry, seemingly mistakenly said it on air in October.
"You know the expression, 'we all have an asshole but we don't use the word?' We all know the drones are Iranian, but the government has not admitted to it," Pukhov told the Russian Business Channel.
According to The Post, the countries will start production within the coming months, swapping needed information — like "designs and key components" — on the drones in the interim.The Iranian-designed drones will be produced inside of Russia, a tactic Iran is using in hopes to avoid sanctions and to be seen as neutral, according to the report.
"It is proceeding quickly from decision-making to implementation," an unnamed official told The Post. "It is moving fast and it has lot of steam."
Iran previously denied supplying the drones to Russia, but Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said earlier this month that Iran did send drones to Russia "before the Ukraine war."
As The New York Times noted, Russia and Iran may have formed an alliance in an effort to resist sanctions by the West, specifically the US.
National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told The Washington Post: "Iran and Russia can lie to the world, but they can't hide the facts: Tehran is helping kill Ukrainian civilians through the provision of weapons and assisting Russia in its operations. It's another sign of how isolated both Iran and Russia are."
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