(November 16, 2022 / JNS) With his invasion of Ukraine to the point of death and Ukrainians liberator up to half of the territory seized by Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin is turning to Iran for missiles to continue Russia’s campaign against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.
Russia wants powerful Iranian Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar short-range ballistic missiles. The Fatah-110 can travel up to 300 kilometers. Its guidance system and mobile fins allow it to be directed towards a target. The Zolfaghar carries a smaller warhead but can travel up to 700 kilometers.
This is, he said, “because the Russian Air Force did not significantly affect the course of the war. Iran seems willing to support the Russian war effort with a considerable number of [short range ballistic missiles], in particular the third or fourth generation Fateh-110 missiles carrying a 500 kilogram warhead. Russia has exhausted most of its stock of ballistic and cruise missiles; therefore, they need Iranian missiles to keep pressure on Ukraine.
“The Iranians must strike a functional balance between helping their Russian allies and preserving their own military capabilities against their rivals,” Vlassis added.
On November 8, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, a confidant of Putin, met in Tehran with Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Moreover, Patrushev would have met with other high-ranking Iranians, including hardline President Ebrahim Raisi, to discuss cooperation between Tehran and Moscow. Both sides stressed the need to further strengthen strategic relations.
“The most decisive response to US sanctions … is the cooperation of independent countries,” Raisi said. said. The meetings also focused on cybersecurity and “measures against interference by Western security services in the internal affairs of the two countries”, according to an Iranian press release.
Iranian missiles should to be delivered in Russia before the end of the year. According reports by Ukrainian intelligence agencies, Iran will also provide drones, including more than 200 Shahed-136 and Arash-2 suicide drones and Mohajer-6 reconnaissance and combat drones.
Iran initially denied involvement in the war in Ukraine in both statements and contacts with the EUdespite the fact that the use of his drones, especially the one-sided attack Shahed-136 model, has undeniably been confirmed. As the evidence grew too substantial to credibly deny, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian finally admitted November 5 that Iran supplied drones to Russia.
Iranian officials have tried to downplay Iran’s involvement, saying the drones were sent to Russia months before the Ukrainian war and therefore the Iranians were unaware of Russian intentions to use them . However, Ukrainian military intelligence evidence suggests otherwise, as many drones have been shipped after the start of the invasion at the end of February.
Interestingly, conservative Iranian circles criticized the change in official rhetoric. They worry about the possible repercussions of Iran’s active support for the Russian invasion. “The Iranian government should not have allowed Moscow to use Iranian drones against Ukraine in the first place,” argued Massih Mohajeri, editor-in-chief of Jomhouri-e Eslami newspaper.
In fact, not only was Iran aware of Russia’s intention to use the drones in Ukraine, but it also sent personnel to Ukraine to train Russian troops, according to an October 12 report. report by the Institute for the Study of War and reports in the Ukrainian media.
In addition to helping an ally, Iran’s supply of drones and rockets targeting population centers provides it with a testing ground for weapons that could be used in a future attack against Israel.
On this point, Iran is menacingly frank. The Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper, affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – designated by the United States as a foreign terrorist organization— published a Monday open threat in Hebrew on its first page. He warned that a new hypersonic missile believed to have been developed by Iran could reach Israel in “400 seconds”.
Hypersonic missiles can evade defense systems due to their high speed and maneuverability. Such a weapon could dismantle Israel’s air defense system, paving the way for massive drone attacks.
“The new missile can penetrate all missile defense systems, and I don’t think the technology capable of intercepting it will be achieved in the coming decades,” he added. declared General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander. “It can target enemy anti-missile systems, and its production marks a huge generational leap in the development of a new generation of missiles.”
Russia loses the war in Ukraine due to Western superiority military technology offered to Ukrainians. After almost nine months of a conflict which, according to the Russian side, would last only one week, Russia is running out of high precision weapons. Russian frontline units suffer up to 500 victims everyday life and morale of the troops collapseswhile 400,000 men of conscription age fled the country.
Putin’s regime is in clear danger and his ability to retain power is inextricably linked to some kind of success in Ukraine. As the once incredible prospect of a Russian tactical defeat in Ukraine becomes more likely, Iran is coming to Russia’s aid with its deadly missiles.
Ioannis E. Kotoulas (Ph.D. in History, Ph.D. in Geopolitics) is a Senior Researcher at Investigative Project on Terrorism and Lecturer in Geopolitics at the University of Athens. His latest book is Geopolitics of the war in Ukraine.