Iran selling body armor, helmets, Arash-2 drones to Russia -Ukraine

The Arash-2 suicide drone is reportedly being sold to the Kremlin and will be accompanied by a new group of Iranian advisers to guide the Russian military in the platform's use. 

 A drone is seen at an underground site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on May 28, 2022. (photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS)
A drone is seen at an underground site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on May 28, 2022.
(photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS)

Iran is continuing to expand its defense product sales to Russia with helmets, body armor and a new drone, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate claimed on Monday.

The Arash-2 suicide drone is reportedly being sold to the Kremlin and will be accompanied by a new group of Iranian advisers to guide the Russian military in the platform's use. 

Another group of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) advisors allegedly arrived in the northern Crimean town of Dzhankoi to assist in the operation of Shahed-136 suicide drones and Mohajer-6 reconnaissance drones.

Iranian drones and instructors helping Russia

On Thursday, the US government confirmed previous Ukrainian reports that Iranian military personnel were operating in occupied Ukrainian territories, overseeing the piloting of Iranian drones. On Sunday the Ukrainian National Resistance Center claimed that more IRGC instructors were spotted in Belarus, training Russian military personnel.

"We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs and using them to conduct kinetic strikes across Ukraine in strikes against Kyiv, and in recent days we assess that Iranian personnel — Iranian military personnel — were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations," said US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on Thursday.

A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022. (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022. (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Western officials have been warning about Russia's use of Iranian drones since August, but Russian and Iranian officials have been denying that this drone cooperation has been happening. On Tuesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog's office announced that he would present US President Joe Biden with proof that Iranian UAVs were being used by Russia.

"We assess that Iranian personnel — Iranian military personnel — were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations."

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price

More weapons being sold to Russia

The Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate also claimed on Monday that Russia is to receive 1,500 pieces of body armor and just as many helmets manufactured by Iran. Moscow has also received an unspecified amount of ammunition.

It was also alleged that Iranian instructors would also advise Russian soldiers on the operation of Iranian surface-to-surface missiles. 

Reuters was told by two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats on Tuesday it had also agreed to sell the Kremlin surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, an earlier report by The Washington Post further confirmed this.

"The Russians had asked for more drones and those Iranian ballistic missiles with improved accuracy, particularly the Fateh and Zolfaghar missiles family," said one of the Iranian diplomats.

Reuters contributed to this report.