The NATO secretary general Thursday condemned any Iranian coordination with Russia on weapons for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
“We also see Iran offering drones and considering ballistic missile deliveries to Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference.
“This is unacceptable. No country should provide support to Moscow in this illegal war,” he said.
Iran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia, officials from a Western country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program told CNN on Tuesday.
The shipment is being closely monitored because it would be the first instance of Iran sending advanced precision-guided missiles to Russia, which could give the Kremlin a substantial boost on the battlefield.
The last shipment of weapons from Iran to Russia included about 450 drones, officials said, which the Russians have already used to deadly effect in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said last week that they have shot down more than 300 Iranian drones.
What Tehran is saying: Iran’s government has repeatedly denied sending weapons to Russia.
Last month, the Iranian government quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying Tehran “has not and will not” provide any weapon to be used in the Ukraine war.
More context: Drones have played a significant role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Their use has increased since the summer when the US and Kyiv say Moscow first acquired drones from Iran. In recent weeks, these Iranian drones have been used to target critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.