White House Says Iran and Russia Are Expanding Defense Partnership

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There are signs that Iran and Russia are increasing their defense relationship, White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby said during a news briefing on Monday. This, he said, was “unprecedented,” citing reports that Iran had sent Russia 400 or more killer drones in recent months.

A “full-scale defense partnership,” as Kirby put it, exists between Iran and Russia, two of the United States’ geopolitical adversaries. He also said that economic penalties are one option among several being considered by the White House as a response to this alliance.

Experts have noted in recent years that sanctions alone aren’t enough to bring down an authoritarian regime and that they’re always part of a larger plan because sanctions won’t be effective on their own. Russia and Iran aren’t the only countries whose authoritarian governments have grown as a result of international sanctions; North Korea and Venezuela are two more extreme examples.

Tehran reportedly supplied Moscow with tank ammunition, artillery shells, and armed drones. In reference to this specific fact, the White House National Security Spokesman said that Iran has been aiding the Kremlin’s “war of aggression in Ukraine” by providing such weapons. He went so far as to say that Russian soldiers had used up the vast majority of these drones to attack Ukrainian vital infrastructure.

Furthermore, Kirby argues that the continuous conversations between both regimes regarding the sale of these weapons are worrying since “there is every reason to believe” that the Kremlin will use them to sustain Russia’s campaign against Ukraine.

He said that the situation is dire since Moscow has provided Tehran with air defense systems, electronics, and missiles for its protection. Kirby noted that Iran is destabilizing the Middle East with its defense assistance.

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