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US Sounds Alarm Over “Harmful” Iran-Russia Military Partnership


US warns of 'harmful' Iran-Russia military partnership

The United States says Russia is looking to cooperate with Iran in areas such as weapons development.

Washington:

The United States on Friday expressed concern about the “comprehensive defense partnership” between Russia and Iran, describing it as “harmful” to Ukraine, Iran’s neighbors and the world.

Iran has been accused by Western powers of supplying Russia with drones during its war against Ukraine, as Moscow attacks the country’s energy infrastructure to seek advantage in the bloody conflict.

Washington has previously condemned security cooperation between Iran and Russia, but on Friday described the far-reaching relationship involving equipment such as helicopters and fighter jets as well as drones. , with the following items leading to new US sanctions.

“Russia is looking to work with Iran in areas like weapons development, training,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“Moscow is providing Iran with an unprecedented level of military and technical support – that is turning their relationship into a comprehensive defense partnership,” he said.

“We have also seen reports that Moscow and Tehran are considering establishing a joint production line of lethal drones in Russia. We call on Iran to reverse course (and) not carry out the actions. this step.”

Kirby said that the United States would sanction three Russia-based entities operating in “the purchase and use of drones by Iran.”

The sanctions target the Russian Aerospace Forces, the 924th State Unmanned Aviation Center and the Military Transport Aviation Command.

“The United States will continue to use every tool at its disposal to disrupt these transfers and impose sanctions on those engaged in them,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. sanctions statement.

Last month, Tehran admitted to sending drones to Russia, but insisted they were supplied before the invasion of Ukraine.

– ‘Dirty trade’ –

Kirby said the United States is also concerned that Russia “intends to supply Iran with advanced military components,” including helicopters and air defense systems.

Kirby said Iranian pilots have learned to fly the advanced Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet in Russia and that Tehran could receive the aircraft next year, which will “significantly strengthen Iran’s air force compared to neighboring countries in the region,” Kirby said.

The United States also believes Iran is considering selling “hundreds of ballistic missiles” to Russia, he said.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Friday took aim at the “dirty deals” between Moscow and Tehran, saying in a statement that Iran had sent drones to Russia in exchange for “military and technical support”. art” from Moscow.

This “will increase the risk it poses to our partners in the Middle East and international security”, Cleverly said, vowing that “the UK will continue to expose this desperate alliance”. and hold both countries accountable.”

Kirby on Friday announced a new $275 million aid package to help boost Ukraine’s air defenses, particularly against Russian drones.

He said the aid “will be deployed soon to give Ukraine new capabilities to strengthen its air defenses and counter the threats that Ukraine is facing from drones.”

The Pentagon released details of the package, saying it includes anti-drone equipment, as well as ammunition for the Himars precision missile system, 80,000 rounds of 155mm artillery shells, about 150 machines. generators and other equipment.

The United States has previously said that generators were supplied to Kiev to help Ukraine meet its electricity needs amid Russia’s repeated attacks on its energy infrastructure.

The latest package – made up of equipment pulled from an existing US stockpile – brings Washington’s military support to Ukraine since the February 24 invasion of Russia to more than 19.3 billion dollars. USD.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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