US says Russian officials visited Iran to view drones for war against Ukraine

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The US says Russian officials have made several visits to an Iranian airfield in recent weeks to look at combat drones it wants for its military purposes. attack on Ukraine.

Iran showed drones Russian officials at the Kashan airfield on June 8 and July 15, the White House said. The Biden administration released satellite imagery showing Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones flying over the airfield while the Russian delegation’s transport plane was on the ground.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan announced the administration’s findings.

The administration has “information that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with several hundred drones,” Sullivan said in a statement.

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This was stated by White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan during a press briefing at the White House. November 11, 2022 in Washington DC. (AP Photo / Manuel Balche Seneta)
(AP)

UAVs are unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.

“We assess that the official Russian delegation recently received a demonstration of Iranian UAVs capable of delivering strikes. We are releasing these images, taken in June, showing the Iranian UAVs that the Russian government delegation saw that day,” Sullivan said. “This speaks to Russia’s continued interest in acquiring Iranian UAVs capable of attacking.”

Sullivan also said that the US understands that the June visit was the first time a Russian delegation “visited this airfield for such a demonstration.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahyan said on Friday in a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart that the US allegations that Russia is acquiring Iranian drones for the war against Ukraine are “baseless.”

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahyan said he denied US allegations that Russia had acquired Iranian drones for the war against Ukraine.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahyan said he denied US allegations that Russia had acquired Iranian drones for the war against Ukraine.
(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze, file)

“These kinds of claims, parallel to Biden’s visit to occupied Palestine or Israel, are aimed at political intentions and goals,” Amirabdollahyan said, according to the website of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. “We oppose any action that could lead to the continuation and intensification of conflicts.”

Iran has supplied drones to its Middle Eastern allies and on Friday announced the creation of the first maritime drone division in the Indian Ocean.

It happens like President Joe Biden visits the Middle East to explain his vision for the region. He is expected to meet with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to discuss deploying missile and defense capabilities in the region to counter Iranian drone and missile attacks.

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President Joe Biden visits the Middle East to explain his vision for the region.

President Joe Biden visits the Middle East to explain his vision for the region.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Russia is actually banking on Iran, and we are banking on a more integrated, more stable, more peaceful and prosperous Middle East region,” a senior US administration official told reporters on Saturday.

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Biden pressed Arab countries to strengthen its position regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. None of the countries represented at the summit followed the US example with regard to sanctions against Russia.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.