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New satellite images show Iran building a drone factory near Moscow, US officials warn the drones are intended for the war in Ukraine. The Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an international advisory about “Iran’s procurement, development and proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).”
Images released by the White House show two industrial buildings located a few hundred miles east of Moscow, and newly declassified US intelligence shows Iran is providing Russia with materials in order to produce the UAV factory.
According to Cybernews, it seems that Iranian UAVs have been shipped to Russian military bases via the Caspian Sea, a known trade route directly linking the two countries.
White House spokesperson John Kirby said: “Russia has been using Iranian UAVs in recent weeks to strike Kyiv and terrorize the Ukrainian population, and the Russia-Iran military partnership appears to be deepening.” He also mentioned recent offers from Russia to supply Iran with “unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics, and air defense.”
“This is a full-scale defense partnership that is harmful to Ukraine, to Iran’s neighbors, and to the international community. We are continuing to use all the tools at our disposal to expose and disrupt these activities, including by sharing this with the public – and we are prepared to do more,” Kirby stated.
Iran, who has captured US military drones in the past, boasted in March it had successfully built several model drones by reverse engineering an American UAV.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, US officials have proven multiple instances of Iranian UAVs discovered on the ground in Ukraine, presumable being launched by the Russian military. According to US intelligence officials, Iran has transferred hundreds of Shahed- and Mohajer series UAVs to Russia since late August 2022.