Iranian drones used by Russia in Ukraine contain parts from US companies: Report

Russia Ukraine War Drones Explainer
FILE – This undated photograph released by the Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate shows the wreckage of what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone downed near Kupiansk, Ukraine. Ukraine’s military claimed on Sept. 13, 2022, for the first time that it encountered an Iranian-supplied suicide drone used by Russia on the battlefield. Russia’s unleashing of successive waves of the Iranian-made Shahed drones over Ukraine has multiple aims — take out key targets, crush morale and ultimately drain the enemy’s war chest and weapons trying to defend against them as the conflict evolves into a longer war of attrition. (Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate via AP, File) Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate/AP

Iranian drones used by Russia in Ukraine contain parts from US companies: Report

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An Iranian drone that Russia launched in Ukraine contained parts made by more than a dozen United States and Western companies, according to a Ukrainian intelligence assessment.

The assessment found that 40 of the 52 components Ukrainian officials removed from the Iranian Shahed-136 drone appeared to be manufactured by 13 different American companies, while the other 12 were manufactured in Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, and China.

There is no evidence demonstrating that these companies provided their equipment to Iran to make the drones.

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Last month, CNN reported that the White House had created a task force to investigate how the U.S. and Western technology ended up in Iranian drones, which Tehran has provided hundreds of to Russian forces.

“We are looking at ways to target Iranian UAV production through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production. We are assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones,” Adrienne Watson, a national security council spokeswoman, said in a statement to the Washington Examiner when asked about the outlet’s report.

In early December, John Kirby, the national security council coordinator, warned reporters that the relationship between Tehran and Moscow is changing.

“In exchange, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defense partnership. So, I think it’s important for us to be clear this partnership poses a threat not just to Ukraine, but to Iran’s neighbors in the region,” Kirby said at the time. “We have shared this information with partners in the Middle East and around the world.”

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He also said at the time that the two sides are working on “the establishment of a joint production line for lethal drones in Russia.”

Kirby was not able to provide new insight on Russia’s use of Iranian drones during a Wednesday press gaggle, though he reiterated, “We continue to see this deepening burgeoning defense relationship between Iran and Russia, and it’s concerning to us not only because of the war in Ukraine, but what it could mean in terms of our national security interest in the Middle East.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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