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Iran may agree a drone and missile deal with Russia in October: ISW

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Senior Iranian and Russian military officials reviewed Iranian advanced conventional weapons, and may conclude a drone and missile sale agreement following the expiration of UN missile restrictions on October 18, Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) reported.

On September 19, Russian Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu made a trip to Tehran, where discussions were held regarding the enhancement of defense and military collaboration between Russia and Iran.


During the visit, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajji Zadeh gave Shoigu a tour of Iran’s drone, missile, and air defense arsenal at the IRGC Aerospace Force headquarters in Tehran.

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In March, director of operations of the US Missile Defense Agency Michelle Atkinson said: “Iran continues to develop more sophisticated missiles with improved accuracy, range and lethality, and is fielding an array of increasingly accurate short and medium range ballistic missile systems capable of threatening deployed US forces, allies and partners in the Middle East.”

While Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said in December the Western community should be “concerned about the accord that the Iranians and Russians appear to have come to that results in Iranian weaponry being used in Ukraine by Russia.”

Additionally, senior advisor to the Secretary of State, Ned Price also said in December: “We know that Russia’s brutal assault against Ukraine has forced Russia to extend its relatively scarce quantities of weaponry, including ballistic missiles… The concern remains that Russia may look to other countries, including Iran, to help replenish its stocks of ballistic missiles.”

Shoigu discussed the expiration of UNSCR 2231’s missile restrictions with Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. UNSCR 2231 imposes missile restrictions on Iran, prohibiting the country from developing, testing, or launching ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

“The expiration of UNSCR 2231’s missile restrictions in October will empower Iran to export missiles and missile-related technology without international oversight, providing Iran with an opportunity to fill Russian needs,” ISW wrote in an assessment.

The think tank added: “Ukranian and Israeli intelligence reports indicate that Russia seeks to acquire Iran’s Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar ballistic missiles, both of which have ranges of 300 kilometers or more.”

Iranian diplomats told Reuters last October that Tehran agreed to provide Moscow with surface-to-surface missiles in addition to more drones.

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