Iran Sends Russia Hundreds Of Ballistic Missiles, Washington Powerless

Back in early 2022 just weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Western officials began raising suspicions that the Islamic Republic of Iran was supplying arms, and especially kamikaze drones, to Moscow for use on the Ukrainian battlefield. This proved true, and allegations of Tehran supplying ballistic missiles soon followed. 

Now, just days away from the grim two-year mark of the start of the major war, there are fresh reports of a dramatic escalation in Iran’s military supply pipeline to Russia. Reuters reports Wednesday that Tehran has provided Moscow with a “large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.”

Image: EurAsian Times

The report alleged an estimated 400 missiles, mostly from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, have been provided. These are mobile-launched and have a range of up to 435 miles.

“The shipments began in early January after a deal was finalized in meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials that took place in Tehran and Moscow, one of the Iranian sources say,” according the report.

“There will be more shipments,” one Iranian official has boasted. “There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to.”

Starting last fall, the US administration began getting creative on ways it could retaliate against Iran. The Pentagon at that time announced that it was sending seized shipments of illicit Iranian arms (usually intercepted in waters off the Arabian peninsula) to Ukraine’s armed forces.

“The US will transfer thousands of seized Iranian weapons and rounds of ammunition to Ukraine, in a move that could help to alleviate some of the critical shortages facing the Ukrainian military as it awaits more money and equipment from the US and its allies,” US officials said at the time.

In the below brief analysis, the hawkish think tank The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) had hailed this Biden policy as one which “turns the tables” on both Tehran and Moscow…

The U.S. transfer of Iranian arms to Ukraine turns the tables on both Tehran and Moscow, which have doubled down on their defense partnership following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Tehran provides drones to Moscow and helps the Russians localize their production. In March 2023, Iran agreed to purchase 24 advanced Sukhoi Su-35 fighters from Russia, significantly upgrading the capabilities of the Islamic Republic’s air force. In 201920212022, and 2023, Russia and Iran conducted joint naval drills in the Gulf of Oman. Russia and Iran are also sharing intelligence and cooperating in a joint effort to push U.S. military forces out of the region.

In this way there are now Iranian arms on ‘both’ sides of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. However, hundreds of Iranian ballistic missiles on the Russian side means it won’t run low on missiles anytime soon.

The Ukrainian side, meanwhile, is still hurting for more arms and manpower, as it’s being beaten back from frontline positions, especially in the east and with the latest loss at Avdiivka.

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