FILE PHOTO: IRGC forces flash victory signs as they pose for a picture at large-scale drone combat exercise of Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in Semnan, Iran January 4, 2021. REUTERS./

By Simon Lewis


WASHINGTON, Aug 11 (Reuters)Russian officials trained in Iran in recent weeks as part of an agreement on the transfer of drones between the two countries, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

U.S. officials said last month that Washington had information that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones, including some that are weapons capable, and that Russian officials had visited Iran to view attack-capable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Read full story

Enlarge

2022-05-28T114024Z_1333959865_RC2AAU9AX6BN_RTRMADP_3_IRAN-MILITARY-DRONE-UNDERGROUND-BASE
Islamic Republic's Army chief, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi and regim's Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri visit an underground site with drones at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on May 28, 2022.

REUTERS./

The claim raised concerns that Iran, which has supplied drones to its allies in the Middle East, was now giving support to Russia for its war in Ukraine. Read full story

Iran‘s foreign minister at the time denied the claim, including in a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart. Read full story

U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters during a phone briefing on Thursday that Russian officials had conducted training on drones in Iran “in the last several weeks.”

Russia Puts Iranian Satellite Into Orbit

The United States would “vigorously enforce” its sanctions on both Russian and Iranian weapons trading, he said. The transfers of drones between the two countries was “potentially sanctionable under numerous authorities,” Patel said.

“We remain incredibly concerned about Iran‘s use and proliferation of UAVs. They have been used to attack U.S. forces, our partners in the region, and international shipping entities,” Patel said.


(Reporting by Simon Lewis and Christopher Gallagher; Editing by Grant McCool)


Similar Articles to This Post