Russia is trying to get more weapons from Iran, including hundreds of ballistic missiles, and is offering Tehran an unprecedented level of military-technical support in return, Britain’s UN ambassador Barbara Woodward said on Friday.
Since August, Woodward said that Iran had transferred hundreds of drones — also known as uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) — to Russia, which it has used to “kill civilians and illegally target civilian infrastructure” in Ukraine.
Russia and Iran pose a danger to the whole world
“Russia is now attempting to obtain more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles,” Woodward told reporters.
“In return, Russia is offering Iran unprecedented military and technical support. We’re concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, which will allow Iran to strengthen their weapons capability,” she said.
She also said Britain was “almost certain that Russia is seeking to source weaponry from North Korea (and) other heavily sanctioned states, as their stocks dwindle.”
Russia denies cooperation with Iran
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasyl Nebenzia, told the Security Council later on Friday that Moscow has already denied “many times” allegations that Russia receives military supplies from Iran.
“The military-industrial complex in Russia can work normally and does not need anyone’s help, while the Ukrainian military industry is non-existent and is helped by Western industry,” he said.
The Iranian and North Korean missions to the UN did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Woodward’s remarks.
Woodward spoke before a Security Council meeting on Friday about Russia’s request for weapons from the conflict in Ukraine, which Russia says are “falling into the hands of bandits and terrorists” elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The main events of Russian-Iranian supplies
Iran admitted last month that it supplied drones to Moscow but said they were sent to Ukraine before the war. Russia denies that its forces used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.
Iran has promised to provide surface-to-surface missiles to Russia in addition to more drones, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters in October.
The United States said on Wednesday that it sees continued supplies of Iranian drones to Russia. Still, Washington has seen no evidence that Iran has transferred ballistic missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine.
The United Nations is examining “available information” about allegations that Iran supplied drones to Russia. In a Security Council report earlier this week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that amid pressure from the West to send experts to Ukraine to inspect the downed drones.
Great Britain, France, Germany, the United States, and Ukraine say that supplying Iranian-made drones to Russia violates a 2015 UN Security Council resolution enshrining the Iran nuclear deal.