White House: Iran is helping Russia build a drone factory

2023-06-09 22:40:47, Kosova & Bota CNA

White House: Iran is helping Russia build a drone factory

According to data collected by US intelligence agencies released by the White House on Friday, Iran is providing Russia with materials to build a drone manufacturing plant east of Moscow as the Kremlin seeks to ensure a steady supply of weapons. for his aggression against Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said US intelligence officials believe a plant in Russia's Alabuga special economic zone could be operational as early as next year. The White House also released satellite images of the industrial site taken in April, several hundred kilometers east of Moscow, where it believes the plant will "probably be built."

President Joe Biden's administration publicly stated in December that it believed Tehran and Moscow were considering setting up a drone assembly line in Russia for the war in Ukraine. New data suggests the project, in the Yelabuga region of Tatarstan, has moved beyond the conception stage.

Iran has said it provided drones to Russia before the war began.

Mr Kirby said US officials have also determined that Iran continues to supply the Russian military with Iranian-made attack drones. The drones are transported across the Caspian Sea, from Amirabad in Iran to Makhachkala in Russia, and then used by Russian forces against Ukraine.

According to the White House, since May, Russia had received hundreds of combat drones, as well as equipment related to the production of drones, from Iran.

"This is a full-scale defense partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to Iran's neighbors and to the international community," Mr. Kirby said. "We are continuing to use all the tools at our disposal to expose and deter these activities, including sharing this information with the public - and we are prepared to do more"./ VOA

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