Iran to sell missiles to Russia in addition to suicide drones - report

On Friday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov claimed that Russia was depleting its high-precision missile arsenal.

 An Iranian missile is displayed during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
An Iranian missile is displayed during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Iran will sell surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, in addition to its supply of kamikaze drones, Western security officials said according to a Washington Post report on Sunday morning. 

Intelligence reports shared by officials allege that Russia will purchase the Iranian-made Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar short-range missiles. Iran is already preparing the first shipment for a deal the Post says was finalized on September 18. 

This would mark the first known time that Iran has sold missiles to Russia since the Ukraine-Russia War began.

Resupplying dwindling Russian arsenal 

On Friday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov claimed that Russia was depleting its high-precision missile arsenal. He claimed that Russia only has 124 Iskander surface-to-surface missiles. 

"By using hundreds of high-precision missiles against civilian objects of Ukraine, the aggressor state reduces its ability to strike the military targets," said Reznikov. Russia has been launching large volleys of guided munitions into Ukraine, striking infrastructure in civilian centers. 

 A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Some reports out of Ukraine have indicated that Russia may be using S-300 anti-air munitions for ground attacks.

However, if Iran does sell missiles to Russia, it could replenish these ballistic missile stocks. 

Maariv reported that a Thursday EU report indicated that the Kremlin seeking North Korean and Iranian munitions was a sign of the Russian military's vulnerable state.

"By using hundreds of high-precision missiles against civilian objects of Ukraine, the aggressor state reduces its ability to strike the military targets."

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov

Sale of Iranian drones to Russia

Reznikov also alleged on Friday that Russia was seeking to purchase several thousand more suicide drones from Iran. 

Ukrainian, American and UK officials have alleged that Iran has been selling drones Shahed series kamikaze drones and Mohajer-6 reconnaissance drones to Russia since at least August, which both Iranian and Russian officials have vehemently denied. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian told his Portuguese counterpart over the weekend that Iran did not sell drones or any weapons to either party to the conflict. 

"We believe that arming either side will prolong the war, and we do not think that war is the right way," Abdullahian said according to Maariv

Iran's aid to Russia has not been limited to munitions. Iranian instructors are allegedly overseeing Russian forces launching kamikaze drones from within annexed Ukrainian territory, the Ukrainian National Resistance Center claimed on Wednesday.

"They [Iranian instructors] teach the Russians how to use kamikaze drones, and directly monitor the launch of drones on Ukrainian civilian targets, including strikes on Mykolaiv and Odesa." the government body alleged, citing Ukrainian underground resistance.

Will Israel respond?

It is unclear how Israel will respond to its regional nemesis's increased material support for Russia. While Israel has maintained a relatively neutral position on the war, it was reported by The New York Times on Wednesday that a senior Israeli defense official said that Israel has been providing Ukraine with "basic intelligence" on the Iranian drones used by Russia in its invasion. 

The source also told The Times that a private Israeli firm was giving Ukraine satellite imagery of Russian troop positions. 

Michael Starr contributed to this report.