Iran began showcasing the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones, also known as UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, to Russia at Kashan Airfield south of Tehran in June, US officials told CNN. Both types of drones are capable of carrying precision-guided missiles.
“We have information that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs,” Sullivan told CNN in a statement.
“We assess an official Russian delegation recently received a showcase of Iranian attack-capable UAVs,” Sullivan added. “We are releasing these images captured in June showing Iranian UAVs that the Russian government delegation saw that day. This suggests ongoing Russian interest in acquiring Iranian attack-capable UAVs.”
Sullivan said that to the US’ knowledge, the June visit “was the first time a Russian delegation has visited this airfield for such a showcase.” A Russian delegation visited the airfield for a similar showcase again on July 5, the officials said.
Russia, the US now believes, has apparently turned to Iran to help replenish its drone stockpiles. It is unclear how sophisticated or effective those drones will be, however.