United Kingdom: Russia Seeking to Obtain More Weapons From Iran

Russia is attempting to get more weapons from Iran, including ballistic missiles numbering the hundreds, and offering Tehran an increased level of technical and military support in return, according to Barbara Woodward, Britain’s U.N. Ambassador. 

Since August, Iran has transferred hundreds of drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Russia, which then used them to “kill civilians and illegally target civilian infrastructure” in its war on Ukraine. 

Iran continues to deny supplying drones to Russia, and Moscow has denied using Iranian-provided drones to attack Ukraine. “Russia is now attempting to obtain more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles,” said Woodward to reporters. “In return, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support. We’re concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, which will allow Iran to strengthen their weapons capability.”

According to an October Reuters report, Iran has promised to provide more drones and surface-to-surface missiles to Russia, according to two Iranian diplomats and two senior Iranian officials.

The United States said it has seen the continuing provision of Iranian drones to Russia. However, Washington has not seen evidence that Russia received ballistic missiles transferred from Iran to use in attacks against Ukraine. 

Woodward was speaking ahead of a Russia-requested Security Council meeting on weapons from the Ukraine conflict that Russia says is “falling into the hands of bandits and terrorists” elsewhere in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. 

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador: Russia is seeking to source weapons from other sanctioned states

Ambassador Woodward also said that Britain was “almost certain that Russia is seeking to source weaponry from North Korea [and] other heavily sectioned states, as their overstocks palpably dwindle.”

The United States is looking into “available information” about accusations that Russia was supplied with drones from Iran, Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary-General, told the Security Council in a report earlier in the week. Guterres faces Western pressure to send experts to inspect drones down in Ukraine. 

The United States, Germany, France, Britain, and Ukraine claim the supply of drones provided to Russia from Iran violates a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution that enshrined the Iran nuclear deal. Russia argues that there is no mandate for Guterres to send experts from the U.N. to Ukraine to investigate the origin of the drones. 

Secretary-General Guterres said in a recent report that the transfer of ballistic missiles, with a range of more than 186 miles, or drones, from Iran to another country would require the U.N. Security Council’s prior approval.