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Media: Iran supplied Russia with hundreds of ballistic missiles, plans more supplies

Iran has supplied Russia with about 400 ballistic missiles with a 700 km range, and plans new supplies, per Reuters sources.
The Zolfaghar missile, an Iranian solid-propelled short-range ballistic missile with a length of 10.3 m, a diameter of 0.68 m, and a warhead mass of 590 kg, designed to separate in midcourse for evasiveness, with a range of 700 km and an accuracy of 5 m. Illustrative photo: Wikimedia Commons
Media: Iran supplied Russia with hundreds of ballistic missiles, plans more supplies

Iran supplied Russia with a significant quantity of potent surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, according to six Reuters sources, deepening military cooperation between the two US-sanctioned nations.

Iran’s supply of Shahed drones and potential new missile supplies to Russia, coupled with months-long delays in US aid to Ukraine, are deepening Moscow’s ties with Tehran and could give Russia a greater advantage in the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

Reuters says Iran has supplied Russia with around 400 missiles, including models from the Fateh-110 family like the Zolfaghar, according to three Iranian sources. The Zolfaghar, a road-mobile missile, can hit targets 300-700 km (186-435 miles) away.

According to Reuters, Russia’s Defense Ministry has not responded to requests for comment, while Iran’s Defense Ministry and the Revolutionary Guards, overseeing the missile program, declined to comment.

Shipments started in early January after a finalized deal in meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials in Tehran and Moscow, according to an Iranian source. At least four shipments of missiles have occurred, with more expected in the coming weeks, said an Iranian military official, who, like others, requested anonymity due to the information’s sensitivity. Some missiles were sent by ship via the Caspian Sea, while others were transported by plane, according to another senior Iranian official.

The second Iranian official stated that there would be more shipments and that there was no reason to hide it, emphasizing that Iran was allowed to export weapons to any country it wished to. Meanwhile, a fourth source familiar with the matter confirmed that Russia had recently received a large number of missiles from Iran but did not provide further details.

Despite the expiration of UN Security Council restrictions on Iran’s export of certain missiles, drones, and technologies in October, the US and EU upheld sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, citing worries over weapon exports to its proxies in the Middle East and Russia.

In early January, White House spokesperson John Kirby expressed concern about Russia potentially acquiring short-range ballistic weapons from Iran, in addition to missiles already obtained from North Korea. Despite advancing talks, a US official told Reuters there was no evidence yet of any deliveries taking place.

Ukraine’s top prosecutor stated that the ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to Russia proved unreliable on the battlefield, with only two out of 24 hitting their targets. Both Moscow and Pyongyang denied North Korea’s involvement in supplying munitions used in Ukraine. In contrast, an expert told Reuters that the Fateh-110 family of missiles and the Zolfaghar are precision weapons.

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force told national television that they had no official information regarding Russia obtaining such missiles, emphasizing that ballistic missiles would pose a serious threat to Ukraine.

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