17:15 26 May 2023

Iran uses direct route to send weapons to Russia as West stays incapable of stopping shipments – CNN

путін та верховний керівник Ірану Алі Хаменеї. Фото: khamenei.ir

Iran increasingly began to transport weapons for the Russian Federation through the Caspian Sea. Western countries have almost no power to stop this process, CNN reports.

The Caspian Sea route is being used to move drones, bullets, and mortar shells that the Russian government has purchased from the Iranian regime to bolster its war effort in Ukraine.

Tracking data shows that vessels in the region are increasingly going "dark," – suggesting growing intent to obfuscate the movement of goods.

Martin Kelly, a leading intelligence analyst at the EOS Risk Group security company, believes that there are no threats from the West to such seaborne shipments. He added that this route is an ideal environment for unhindered trade.

CNN tracked down six Russian-flagged and two Iranian-flagged vessels that have behaved suspiciously since the start of the war in Ukraine and are believed to be linked to the arms trade.

The Bosphorus Observer consultancy told CNN that before the war in Ukraine, the Iranian regime invested in the Russian port of Astrakhan to improve its shipping capabilities to Europe via a route that could bypass sanctions.

Ukraine and a number of Western allies accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia with airplanes. However, analysts believe that from the point of view of comparing the volume of vehicles, the ship has much greater volume and capabilities.

White House National Security Council Coordinator John Kirby said Russia and Iran have significantly expanded their defense cooperation. Such interaction between them will help Moscow to continue the war in Ukraine and will also pose a threat to Iran's neighbors.

Ukraine's PM Denys Shmyhal said the state would file a complaint against Iran to the International Criminal Court due to the supply of drones to Russia.

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Iranian people, emphasizing that by supporting Russia in the war against Ukraine, Iran is only getting more isolated from the world.

Russia intends to produce Shahed drones in Belarus, and Iranian engineers were invited. Ukrainian forces have already eliminated several Iranian instructors who were tutoring Russian troops in flying Shaheds.


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