Iran may be sending more drones to Russia: Blinken

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Iran may be sending more attack drones to help Russia’s equipment-starved forces strike targets in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, as the US reiterated its condemnation of Tehran for aiding President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

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“We believe that Russia’s received dozens of these UAVs so far from Iran, with more potentially in the works,” Blinken told reporters at a briefing alongside French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on Friday, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles.

Blinken spoke a day after the White House accused Iran of sending trainers and technicians to Crimea to help advise and support Russian attacks on Ukrainian targets.

Tehran moved some trainers and technical support to help the Russians use them, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

Blinken said the US was working to counter Iran’s efforts and bolster Ukraine’s ability to ward off attacks.

He has previously criticized Moscow’s reliance on Iran for weapons exports as a sign of desperation amid US efforts to sanction and undermine Russian industry.

“We’re interdicting the illicit traffic in arms, including UAVs, wherever we can see them, find them and interdict them,” Blinken said.

“We’re continuing to build up the defenses of our partners, including in Ukraine, against the use of UAVs or any other kind of weapons systems that Iran may be engaged in.”

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