US Sees More Indication of Iran, Russia Defense Cooperation

Chernihiv, Ukraine.- In photos taken on May 14, 2023, it shows the wreckage of an Iranian-made Shahed drone launched by Russia after it was shot down in Chernihiv Oblast. Russia attacked Ukraine this Saturday (13) from the north and south with 21 Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 drones, of which 17 were shot down by Ukrainian air defense forces, according to Kiev. REUTERS./

 – The United States is seeing more indications that Russia and Iran are expanding an unprecedented defense partnership that will help Moscow prolong its war in Ukraine as well as pose a threat to Iran‘s neighbors, the White House said on Monday.

As part of the cooperation, Iran is providing Russia with one-way attack drones, including more than 400 since August, national security adviser John Kirby said at a news briefing.

“This is about a burgeoning defense relationship” that allows Russia to kill more people in Ukraine and also enables Iran to stock up on its military hardware and pose a greater threat to its neighbors, Kirby told reporters.

Drones are the primary military help Iran is providing to Russia, which is seeking to acquire advanced level types, he said.

The Unites States will be announcing additional designations targeting increased military cooperation between Russia and Iran, Kirby added.

(Reporting by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Berkrot)