Iranian Brig. Gen. Seyed Hojjatollah Qureishi negotiated a deal with Russia over the past several months to send drones to assist the country in its war with Ukraine, the Washington Post reported on Monday citing US officials. The acquisition was completed a few weeks ago.
Qureishi is the Iranian Defense Ministry's supply and logistics division chief, according to a security official.
As part of the Russia-Iran deal, "Iranian technical experts helped set up the systems in Russia while Russian military officials underwent training in Iran," the report said.
Regarding the drones, the shipments to Russia included "two models of Shahed drones: the Shahed-129 and Shahed-191, as well as the Mohajer-6," the report stated citing an allied security official.
However, some of the UAVs that Iran gave Russia have malfunctioned, the report cited US and allied officials as saying. One official said that "the Russians are not satisfied" with the drone malfunctions.
Russia plans to use the drones sent to them against Ukrainian forces as part of the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine that began in late February.
The report described that the US and other spy agencies gathered intel that Iranian transport planes were carrying "two types of unmanned aerial vehicles" approximately two weeks ago. Biden administration officials said that the deliveries of Shahed and Mahajer-series drones are planning to increase.
US drones to Ukraine
A report from early June stated that the Biden administration planned to sell armed drones such as the MQ-1C Gray Eagle to Ukraine.
Since February, Ukraine has been using several types of smaller shorter range unmanned aerial systems against Russian forces.
How does this affect Iran nuclear talks?
The transfer of drones to Russia is not likely to affect nuclear talks between Iran and other world powers, the Post reported citing analysts.
Reuters contributed to this report.