An Iranian delegation in Belarus is exploring adjusting local factories to produce kamikaze drones for Russia to solve transportation issues for the Kremlin, the Ukrainian National Resistance Center said on Monday.
A working group of Iranian engineers is considering converting a plant in Gomel to Shahed series drone production, according to information the center attributed to Belarusian rebels. The trip was allegedly organized by Russian intelligence services.
The Kremlin faces logistical problems by transporting Iranian suicide drones from the Middle East, said the center. Production in neighboring Belarus would result in easier transportation.
Belarus: A hub for Russia-Iran drone cooperation
The development of an Iranian drone factory in Belarus would not be the first instance of the state becoming a hub for Russo-Iranian cooperation on UAVs.
In October, instructors from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were alleged by the Ukrainian National Resistance Center to be training Russian soldiers on the use of their drones in the Gomel region.
IRGC instructors also allegedly helped coordinate some strikes with Shahed-136 drones on targets in Ukraine.
Further training was allegedly being conducted in Crimea, and in October ten Iranians were reportedly killed in a Ukrainian attack.
Russia has been using Iranian-made Shahed-136 suicide drones to overtax Ukrainian air defenses and strike Ukrainian cities. They are often launched in coordination with artillery and missile barrages.
Eastern Ukrainian air command downed three such drones in the Dnipropetrovsk region, around midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor Serhiy Lysak said on Telegram on Wednesday.