Iranian-made drones have been used in Ukraine before. The attacks took place this time in the town of Makarev, west of Kyiv. Important infrastructure facilities were hit. This is all the result of cooperation with Iran, says Middle East correspondent Olaf Koenz. “From the third day of the war, the possibility of the state supplying weapons to the Russians was already considered.”
He explains that Iran, like Russia, is also at war with the West. “If you have a common enemy, on paper you are each other’s friend. And Iran is always looking for money because of all the sanctions on it. And the Russians can give them that.”
But what about the relationship between Russia and Iran? Iranian expert Paul Artes of the University of Amsterdam explains that they certainly do not have a close relationship. Because Iran is always a very isolated country. “The feeling is: We want to be sovereign. Iran and Russia have had a rather difficult and ambiguous relationship for a long time.”
This relates to events in the past, where trust between Iran and other countries has often been damaged. For example, both the Russians and the British occupied parts of Iran at the beginning of the last century and during the Second World War. They also killed the constitutional revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century. “People have not forgotten that in Iran,” says Artes.
highly developed country
There is no doubt that Iran has drones at its disposal. The country has been under pressure for years due to international sanctions imposed to counter the development of nuclear weapons. “Sanctions have been in place since 1979, but the most severe ones have been in place since 2012. Sanctions were added four years ago under President Trump, but Biden continues to do so.”
Iran is trying to rely as little as possible on others during all the setbacks. So they – out of necessity – set up their own arms industry. “They have gained a leading position in some areas,” says Artes. “People forget sometimes, but Iran is a very developed country with very advanced technology.”
Sanctions were more difficult than others. “In the first place, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price. Some sectors work like magic. But the production of missiles and drones is high, qualitatively and quantitatively.”
Correspondent Olaf Kons also says that there is a fear of Iranian drones in Israel. “At first it was thought that those drones weren’t good enough, that Iran was just working. But now it turns out they’re working fine. It’s not that huge bombs can be carried with them, but they can touch. What or what.”
marriage of convenience
In early July, US intelligence agencies reported that Iran would supply Russia with hundreds of armed drones. According to the US, the Iranian military will also train the Russians on how to use the drones. Iran denied this.
But now these drones are used in Ukraine, as it turned out earlier From the videos Shared by the Ukrainian army. “This goes much further than I thought possible,” says Artes, an expert on Iran. “But one of the most common elements of Iran’s foreign policy is that they sometimes enter into a marriage of convenience with another country for practical reasons. And so they turn a blind eye if it is in Iran’s interest.”
Artes wonders why Iran should do this. “Putin is undoubtedly applying pressure, and money always plays a role. Iran has been burdened with sanctions for years. The country is not bankrupt, but it is in serious trouble. Support when Iran needs it, for example in the UN Security Council,” he added. or in the economic field.
“But it’s hard to understand exactly what is going through the minds of Iranian leaders,” says Artes. Then what is the final consideration in supplying Russia with this instrument of murder, because that is what it is, for Russia.
Who are the friends of Russia?
Putin does not have many allies in the world. Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly condemned Russia’s “attempt to illegally annex” four regions of Ukraine. Therefore, these areas were not recognized as Russian.
143 countries out of 193 voted in favor of the resolution, which affirms Ukraine’s sovereignty. There were five votes against: Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Nicaragua and Syria. Thirty-five countries, including India and China, said they would abstain from the vote. In total, ten countries, including Iran, were not present for the vote.
And last month, a summit was held in Uzbekistan, where Russia and Iran, according to Reuters, have strengthened their relations. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said the sanctioned countries were seeking to get rid of each other “just to make them stronger”. “The Americans think they can stop countries with sanctions, but they are wrong,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin considers the rapprochement a “positive development”. The two countries will work on a new strategic treaty to further develop cooperation, including in the economic sphere.