Debris from the ‘Made in Iran’ drone used by Russia against targets in Ukraine, the Shahed-136 which Kyiv forces have dubbed ‘lawnmowers’ for the noise they make as they approach the target , are carefully studied by American and Estonian specialists, to acquire valuable data to better identify and counter them before they reach their targets, according to the Washington Post.
According to the defense experts consulted, defensive systems capable of targeting them are expensive. They are designed for more demanding threats, such as airplanes and helicopters, and take months or years to produce. Israel has already refused to sell Ukraine air defense systems capable of intercepting drones cheaply. However, Hebrew media previously reported that an Israeli defense company was delivering anti-drone equipment to the Ukrainian military via Poland to avoid Israel’s stated policy of not transferring sophisticated weaponry to Kyiv. The unofficial sales are most likely a temporary measure to offset Israeli authorities’ reluctance to give Ukraine their Iron Dome missile defense system, ostensibly in an effort to preserve strategic relations with Russia in Syria.
The political road began at the United Nations. Iran’s potential shipment of these munitions to Russia violates resolutions adopted after the nuclear deal, in particular the restriction on the export of military systems with a range of more than 300 kilometers.
Iranian drones are fired from three Russian military stations in Crimea and the fourth position in Belarus, which are too far away to be targeted by long-range rocket launchers supplied by the United States. Currently, there is no single mechanism to combat them. Iranian military advisers were sent to Russian-controlled territories, where they provided technical training for the use of the equipment to operators.
Due to the drone’s low altitude and lack of metal components, it is difficult to intercept it with radar and other sensors before it reaches its targets. However, Kyiv claims to have destroyed 220 since September 13 last year.
Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur stressed the importance for all nations in the region to review Iranian-made drones. This is not unique to Ukraine, which is now at war. It impacts everyone in “our situation,” he said.
Iran is developing many varieties of drones, which it reportedly supplies to anti-US rebels in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi rebels in Yemen. In August they deployed them to attack the American installation at Tanf. Last April, the Houthis attacked a refinery in Riyadh with Iranian-made Samad-3 drones and Aramco sites with Samad-1 drones. In February, Houthi drones attacked numerous sites in the United Arab Emirates and Sanaa. However, the Russians have access to more advanced drones that can bypass Ukrainian defenses.
In Crimea, Iranian drone troops are ‘directly engaged’
According to US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the systems themselves were struggling and not working to the desired standards. The Iranians therefore decided to send trainers and technical assistance to help the Russians maximize their lethality.
In a briefing, spokesman John Kirby said Iranian training and technicians were assisting the Russian military but the Russians were operating the drones. He said IRGC members were already there in Crimea.
Despite denials from the Kremlin, the EU and UK have imposed new sanctions on Iran for supplying the Russian military with “kamikaze” drones for use on the Ukrainian battlefield.
In the latest measure, which has US approval, three Iranian generals and arms manufacturers were targeted. After three days of talks, EU ambassadors have agreed on actions against companies supplying Iranian drones that strike Ukraine, the Czech EU president has said. The EU is also willing to extend restrictions to four other Iranian organizations that were on a previous sanctions list.
Major General Mohammed Hossein Bagheri, Logistics Officer General Sayed Hojatollah Qureishi and Revolutionary Guards drone commander Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani were sanctioned, according to AFP.
The EU sanctions resulted from a conference of 27 EU foreign ministers led by European Council President Charles Michel. According to a statement, the group also took swift action against Iran, which supports Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
In particular, the EU is seeking to penalize the maker of the Islamic Republic’s Shahed-136 drones, which are believed to be the type currently bombing Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure, resulting in hundreds of deaths and breakdowns.
Meanwhile, the United States is pressuring the United Nations Security Council to act quickly, because the transfer of drones constitutes a “clear violation” of a UNSC resolution. Critics of Russia’s denials say there is “a lot of evidence”, as the State Department’s Ned Price said in a press briefing.
Separately, the Pentagon threatened to make it ‘more difficult’ to sell arms to Russia and warned that the United States expects Tehran to soon supply Moscow with conventional missiles like the Fateh-110s and Zolfaghars. .