The White House said, Friday, that Russia is providing Iran with an “unprecedented level of military and technical support through a full defense partnership.”
“Russia provides Iran with an unprecedented level of military and technical support that turns the two countries’ relationship into a full defense partnership,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a news conference.
“This partnership poses a threat not only to Ukraine, but to neighboring countries in the region (…) We have shared this information with partners in the Middle East and around the world,” Kirby said.
The new relationship included Russia training Iranian pilots on SU-35 fighters since last spring, amid expectations that Tehran will start receiving the planes next year.
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Regarding Russian fighters, Kirby said that they will “significantly strengthen the Iranian Air Force compared to its regional neighbors.”
He revealed that “Russia is also planning to provide Iran with advanced military components.”
However, the flow of military equipment is not in one direction, as Iran provides Russia with drones that Moscow used to enhance its offensive against Ukraine, according to the same source.
Kirby also touched on a joint Russian-Iranian production of aircraft, saying, “We have also seen reports that Moscow and Tehran are considering establishing a joint production line for lethal drones in Russia.”
Kirby urged Iran to change course and not take such steps.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.