On Monday, the White House said it believed Russia was turning to Iran to supply “hundreds” of drones, including weapons-capable drones, for use in its ongoing war in Ukraine..
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it was unclear whether Iran had actually provided any of the unmanned systems to Russia, but he said the United States had “information” that Iran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them as soon as this month. .
“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to supply Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including those with weapons capability, in a rapid time frame,” he told reporters on Monday.
Sullivan said it was evidence that Russia’s crushing bombing of Ukraine, which has pushed it to consolidate gains in the east of the country in recent weeks, “has been at the expense of supporting its weapons.”
Sullivan’s revelation comes on the eve of President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi ArabiaIran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region will be a major topic of discussion.
The US decision to publicly disclose that the two countries’ main regional rival was helping to rearm Russia comes as both Israel and Saudi Arabia have resisted joining global efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine because of their domestic interests.
Sullivan also noted that Iran provided similar drones to Houthi rebels in Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia before a ceasefire was reached earlier this year.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine
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