Iran is set to send over 200 combat drones to Russia in the beginning of November, the Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate warned on Tuesday.
The shipment would include Shahed-136 and Arash-2 suicide drones and Mohajer-6 reconnaissance drones. Ukrainian intelligence first claimed last Monday that the Arash-2 would be added to Russian arsenals for the first time.
Ukraine claimed that the disassembled drones would be delivered by the Caspian Sea to the port of Astrakhan, and would be repainted and given Russian markings.
"We will continue to vigorously enforce all US sanctions on both the Russian and Iranian arms trade to make it harder for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia."Ned Price
Earlier report on weapon shipment
The intelligence update comes as CNN reported that Western officials said that Iran was preparing to send Russia approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and combat drones, for use in Ukraine.
CNN did not provide a time frame for the shipment. It reported that officials said that the previous shipment made by Iran to Russia had included 450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig.-Gen. Pat Ryder said on Tuesday that he had no "specific information to provide" on the reports, but that the US was concerned that "Russia may also seek to acquire additional advanced munition capabilities from Iran – for example, surface-to-surface missiles – to use in Ukraine."
US to take action against Iranian weapons trade
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that America would be taking action against the Iranian weapons trade to Russia.
"We will continue to vigorously enforce all US sanctions on both the Russian and Iranian arms trade to make it harder for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia; to help the Ukrainians have what they need to defend against these threats," said Price. "Anyone doing business with Iran that could have any links to its UAV or ballistic missile development or the flow of arms from Iran to Russia should be very careful."
The Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate claimed that Kyiv's military forces have downed some 300 Iranian Kamikaze drones since the first detected use of the weapon platforms.
On Wednesday, the Ukrainian National Resistance Center also claimed that Iranian food products were being smuggled into occupied Ukrainian territories, such as Kherson.