Iran may send even more attack drones to Russia for use against Ukraine, in support of Russian troops who lack military equipment, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Oct. 21, according to Bloomberg.
He made this statement the day after the White House accused Teheran of sending Iranian specialists to occupied Crimea, where they train Russian troops on how to pilot drones.
“We believe that Russia’s received dozens of these UAVs so far from Iran, with more potentially in the works,” Blinken said.
The Secretary of State added that the U.S. was working to counter Iran’s efforts and bolster Ukraine’s ability to ward off attacks.
He insisted the U.S. was doing their best to curb the illegal weapons traffic, including drones, "wherever they can see them, find them and interdict them".
“We’re continuing to build up the defenses of our partners, including in Ukraine, against the use of UAVs or any other kind of weapons systems that Iran may be engaged in,” Blinker added.
On Oct. 11, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had ordered 2,400 more Shahed-136 attack drones from Iran, referring to intelligence data.
On Oct. 17, Kyiv suffered from a mass attack of Iranian-made suicide drones, which resulted in the death of five people and multiple injures. A pregnant woman and her husband were among the victims.
Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klychko stated that about 28 drones targeted the capital that day, though the majority of them were intercepted. Even with those efforts, five explosions were recorded in Kyiv as a result of the drone attack.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has urged Iran to immediately stop supplying Russia with suicide drones. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has proposed that Kyiv formally break off diplomatic ties with Iran. Ukraine has so far refused to extend the accreditation of the Iranian ambassador, and reduced the number of personnel in the Iranian embassy to only a few employees.
Earlier, The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials, reported that Iran had secretly agreed to provide Russia with not only attack drones, but also surface-to-surface ballistic missiles for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.