Russian officials traveled to Iran to see drones (US official)

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart rejected US accusations of sending Iranian drones to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine .

The United States believes Russian officials recently visited an airfield in Iran to see attack-capable drones, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the United States said it had information showing that Iran was preparing to supply Russia with up to several hundred drones, some of them capable of weapons, and that Tehran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them. Iran’s foreign minister denied this.

“We assess that an official Russian delegation recently received a showcase of attack-capable Iranian drones. To our knowledge, this is the first time a Russian delegation has visited this airfield for such a showcase,” Sullivan said in a statement.

The statement included satellite images dated June 8 showing Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) “that the Russian government delegation saw that day.” He said similar equipment was presented for a second Russian visit to the airfield on July 5.

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, dismissed as baseless US accusations that Iranian drones had been sent to Russia for use in the war against Iran. ‘Ukraine.

Iran, which has supplied drones to its allies in the Middle East, on Friday announced its first naval division carrying drones to the Indian Ocean as US President Joe Biden visits the Middle East.

Biden is expected to meet with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and discuss integrating missile and defense capabilities in the region to counter Iranian drone and missile attacks in the Middle East.

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

Biden has used Iran’s growing ties with Russia as a rallying cry to urge Arab countries to take a tougher stance on the Ukraine crisis. The Gulf countries, which have energy and trade ties with Moscow, have so far refused to take sides.

(Reuters)

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