Russia gave stolen Western weapons, cash to Iran

The security source warned that the seized munitions could allow the IRGC to study the munitions and even reverse-engineer them.

 Iranian-made Shahed-136 exploding UAVs prepared for launch as part of an exercise in Iran in December 2021. (photo credit: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)
Iranian-made Shahed-136 exploding UAVs prepared for launch as part of an exercise in Iran in December 2021.
(photo credit: OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)

Russia flew over $140 million in cash and seized Western anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran in late August, an anonymous security source told Sky News on Tuesday.

The seized munitions include a British NLAW anti-tank missile, a US Javelin anti-tank missile and a Stinger anti-aircraft missile, according to the report. The munitions had been part of a shipment intended for the Ukrainian military that "fell into Russian hands."

The security source warned that the seized munitions could allow the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to study the munitions and even reverse-engineer them. "They will probably be reverse-engineered and used in future wars," said the source.

Sky News published satellite images provided by the source purporting to show two Russian military cargo planes at Mehrabad airport in Tehran on August 20. At least one of the planes was carrying Iranian drones meant for Russia, according to the source.

The case and munitions were sent as payment for suicide drones provided to Russia by Iran in recent months, according to the report. A further order of drones worth over $200 million has been purchased by Russia in the past few days as well, the source added.

An Iranian drone flies over Kyiv during an attack on October 17, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  (credit: SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)An Iranian drone flies over Kyiv during an attack on October 17, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (credit: SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Since the US first issued warnings that Russia was planning to acquire drones from Iran to use in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Moscow has been documented using Iranian drones in strikes on Ukraine.

Netanyahu warned against weapons ending up in Iran

In October, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu expressed opposition to demands by Ukraine for Israel to provide anti-aircraft equipment for the Ukrainian military, warning that any weapons provided to Ukraine could end up in Iran's hands in an interview with MSNBC.

"On the question of weapons there's always a possibility, and this has happened time and again, that weapons that we supplied in one battlefield end up in Iranian hands used against us," said Netanyahu. "In the Golan Heights, where we're trying to prevent Iran from creating a second Lebanon front, a second terrorist front against us, we encounter Israeli-made weapons."