US urges Iran to stop drone sales as Russia begins in-house production 

Ukrainian apartment damaged as a result of a Russian military attack by Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. Credit: Review News /

The United States is urging Iran to stop selling armed drones and spare parts to Russia, which has been using in the war against Ukraine, according to the Financial Times.  

Despite Tehran’s official denying that its drones have been used in Ukraine, an Iranian official revealed that Moscow has been repeatedly asked to stop deploying the unmanned aircraft. 

However, Washington is reportedly seeking “more concrete steps” to put a stop to Iranian drones ending up in the battlefield. 

“We continue to hold the regime accountable for its human rights abuses, destabilizing actions in the region, funding of terrorism, provision of drones to Russia, for its use in the war against Ukraine, among many other offenses,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a press briefing on August 15, 2023. 

Blinken also expressed that he would welcome any Iranian efforts to reduce its “growing nuclear threat”. This comes after the Wall Street Journal declared that Iran had “significantly” slowed its accumulation of enriched uranium and diluted its stockpile amid ongoing talks with Washington. 

However, according to a report issued by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) investigators on August 10, 2023, Russia could be looking to end its reliance on Iranian drones in the Ukraine war. Russia has started producing copies of Iranian attack drones acquired in 2022 and is using them in combat against Ukrainian forces, despite sanctions intended to hinder its weapons production, the report added.  

Researchers in Kyiv inspected wreckage from two drones used in combat in southeastern Ukraine, identifying them as Iranian Shahed-136s, but found electronic modules matching components from Russian surveillance drones. The drones’ construction materials and internal fuselage structure also differed significantly from known Iranian-made drones, the researchers noted. 

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