The US believes the Russians have begun training on Iranian drones


“Over the past several weeks, Russian officials have conducted training in Iran as part of an agreement to transfer UAVs from Iran to Russia,” a US official told CNN. Intelligence about the training was recently declassified, the official said.

CNN has reached out to the Russian Embassy in Washington for comment. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said last month that Russia “has no comments on this matter” when asked by reporters about the drones.
CNN first reported that a Russian delegation has visited an airfield in central Iran at least twice since June to test weapons-capable drones, according to satellite images obtained exclusively by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and CNN.
Iran began demonstrating the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones, also known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, to Russia in June at Kashan Airfield, south of Tehran, US officials told CNN. Both types of drones are capable of carrying precision-guided missiles. Sullivan said in July that the U.S. believed Iran intended to sell Russia hundreds of drones it could use in its war in Ukraine.
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The Ukrainian military is primarily deploying Turkish-made Bayraktar UAVs to destroy Russian command posts, tanks and surface-to-air missile systems, while the Russians are using home-made Orlan-10 drones for reconnaissance and electronic warfare.

But the US believes the Russians are struggling to replenish their supplies, causing them to turn to Iran for equipment. US officials have argued that the growing relationship between Iran and Russia explains why the US needs to maintain its presence and influence in the Middle East.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has appealed to the US to provide it with more powerful armed drones, such as the Gray Eagle, but the US has been reluctant to provide them for fear that Russia could over-inflate it.



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