Israel shared intelligence dossiers on Iranian arms exports to Russia

Senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that on October 20, a secret telegram was sent from the strategic wing of the ministry to dozens of Israeli embassies around the world.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand (photo credit: REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel has transferred intelligence dossiers to dozens of countries and international organizations regarding Iranian arms exports to Russia in recent week, with the goal of mobilizing more countries in the world to exert pressure on the regime in Tehran, senior officials at the Foreign Ministry said, according to Walla.

Senior officials at the Foreign Ministry said that on October 20, a secret telegram was sent from the strategic wing of the ministry to dozens of Israeli embassies around the world with a request to start a diplomatic campaign against arms transfers from Iran to Russia.

In the telegram, Israeli diplomats were asked to contact the senior ranks of the countries where they were stationed, to raise the issue of the transfer of Iranian UAVs to Russia and the fear of transfer of ballistic missiles from, and to try to obtain more information on the subject.

A short time later, the Foreign Ministry sent those embassies an intelligence dossier that included information on the arms transfers that Iran had made so far, including the dates on which the arms were transferred, the amounts that Russia paid to the Iranians, and the equipment that was transferred.

In the weeks since then, Israeli diplomats have conveyed these messages to the relevant government ministries and the political echelon in dozens of countries while providing them with said intelligence.

For example, senior officials at the Foreign Ministry said that Israeli Ambassador to the European Union and NATO, Haim Regev, handed the intelligence dossier to the Deputy Secretary General of NATO.

Israel's Deputy Ambassador to Poland handed the file to officials at the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw and a senior official at the Foreign Ministry held a briefing on the matter for dozens of diplomats at European Union headquarters in Brussels.

Last week, Israel's ambassador to Moscow, Alex Ben-Zvi, even raised the issue of the supply of Iranian weapons in a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov, senior officials at the Foreign Ministry said.

A change in Israeli conduct

The diplomatic-intelligence move that began at the end of October constitutes a change in Israeli conduct with regard to Iranian involvement in the war in Ukraine.

Until October, Israel hardly acted proactively in the political arena and did not engage in lobbying efforts regarding the war in Ukraine to avoid tensions with Russia.

But now, senior officials at the Foreign Ministry hope to take advantage of the international focus on Iranian aid to the Russian war effort to increase pressure on Tehran.

Iran steps up arms shipments to Russia

Tehran is preparing to increase arms shipments to Russia, and transfer about 1,000 more advanced weapons for the Russian war effort in Ukraine, CNN reported in the beginning of November. The shipments will include hundreds more attack drones, as well as surface-to-surface missiles.

Officials in "a Western country that closely monitors the transfer of Iranian weapons to Russia" told CNN that the delivery of the new weapons is expected to begin in the near future, after Iran has already transferred hundreds of drones to Russia. According to the Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, Iran has already transferred no less than 2,400 UAVs to Russia.

The "National Resistance Center" also claimed that Russia is importing Iranian drones and missiles from Syria, after Iran established a factory for the production of suicide drones and surface-to-surface missiles in the country following the prolonged conflict it is in, with the aim of helping President Assad's regime suppress rebel forces.

According to the report, Belarus also joined the supply line of Iranian drones to Russia, when a local factory that had been repairing aircraft, began to produce suicide drones, in cooperation with the Kvand IS company, which led to the import of Iranian drones from Belarus to the Ukrainian front.

in October, the Washington Post reported that Iran is preparing to transfer to Russia surface-to-surface missiles of the Petah-110 and Zulfinkar models, which are effective at ranges of 300-700 km.

The transfer of the missiles comes against the background of estimates that the Russian army is facing major shortages of advanced missiles and precision munitions, desperately trying to keep up with Moscow's war demands with dwindling stockpiles looming in the background.

Russia has quietly reached an agreement with Iran to begin manufacturing hundreds of weaponized drones on Russian soil, according to new intelligence seen by the US and other Western security agencies, the Washington Post has reported.

Iran, Russia sign deal to begin Iranian drone production on Russian soil

Officials from Moscow and Tehran finalized the deal during a meeting in Iran in early November, accelerating the exchange of key components and designs that would allow production to begin within months.

If the new agreement is fully realized, it would signify a further deepening of a Russian-Iranian alliance that has slowly been forming in light of Moscow’s faltering military campaign in Ukraine. As the two countries grow closer, Iran has already provided crucial support for Russia during its war.

By moving drone production lines directly into Russia, Moscow could quickly replenish its dwindling munition stockpile with relatively inexpensive but highly destructive weapons systems that have recently begun playing a much larger role in the nine-month-old Ukrainian war.

While the newly provided weapons could give a significant boost to Russia's failing war efforts, as well as provide a much-needed economic boost to isolated Iran, Iran's clerical rulers face mounting international pressure over their military alliance with Moscow.

How is Iran transferring arms to Russia?

The "National Resistance Center" in Ukraine, an organization designed to provide military training to the residents of Ukraine following the breakout of the war, published a report in which it revealed that the main routes of arms shipments from Iran to Russia are by air and sea.

According to the report, the Iranians used four airlines: "Iran Air," "Mahan Air," "Saha Airlines" and "Fouya Air" where the first three are owned by the regime, and the fourth is privately owned.

Cargo planes of the Fouya Air company, type Ilyushin 76, flew on the Tehran-Moscow route five times between October 12 and 18 to deliver weapons shipments to Russia, the report claims.

Apart from air transports, Iran also uses the maritime route in the Caspian Sea in order to transfer drones to the Russian army.

The drones are first transferred to the port of Anzali and from there they are sent to the port of Astrakhan or Makhachkala. Iran's industrial company, under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, once again transferred weapons to Russia in vessels belonging to it, including dismantled parts of drones at the beginning of last November.