The debris of the ‘Made in Iran’ UAV used by Russia against targets in Ukraine, the Shahed-136 that the Kyiv forces have dubbed the “lawn mowers” for the noise they make as they approach the target, is being studied carefully by specialists Americans and Estonians, to acquire valuable data to better identify and counter them prior to they hit their targets, according to the Washington Post.
According to the defence experts consulted, the defensive systems capable of targeting them are costly. They are built for more demanding threats, such as aeroplanes and helicopters, and require months or years to produce. Israel has already refused to sell Ukraine air defence systems that are capable of intercepting drones at a lower cost. However, Hebrew media reported previously that an Israeli defence firm is delivering anti-drone equipment to the Ukrainian military through Poland in order to avoid Israel’s stated policy of not transferring sophisticated armaments to Kyiv. The unofficial sales are most likely a temporary measure to compensate for Israeli authorities’ unwillingness to give Ukraine their Iron Dome missile defence system, apparently in an effort to preserve strategic relations with Russia in Syria.
The political route has begun at the United Nations. Iran’s potential shipment of these munitions to Russia breaches resolutions adopted after the nuclear accord, especially the restriction on exporting military systems with a range of more than 300 kilometres.
Iranian drones are fired from three Russian military stations in Crimea and the fourth position in Belarus, which are too far away to be targeted by long-range rocket launchers supplied by the United States. Currently, there is no single mechanism to combat them. Iranian military advisors were sent to Russian-controlled territories, where they offered technical training for utilising the equipment to the operators.
Due to the drone’s low altitude and lack of metallic components, it is difficult to intercept it with radar and other sensors before it strikes its targets. Regardless, Kyiv claims to have destroyed 220 since September 13 last year.
The Estonian Minister of Defense, Hanno Pevkur, emphasised the importance for all nations in the region to examine Iranian-made drones. It is not unique to Ukraine, which is now at war. It impacts everyone in “our situation”, he said.
Iran develops numerous varieties of drones, which it reportedly provides to anti-American rebels in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Houthi rebels in Yemen. In August, they deployed them to attack the U.S. facility in Tanf. Last April, the Houthis attacked a refinery in Riyadh with Iranian-made Samad-3 drones and Aramco locations with Samad-1 drones. In February, Houthi drones attacked many sites in the UAE and Sanaa. However, the Russians have access to more advanced drones that can circumvent the Ukrainian defences.
In Crimea, Iranian Drone Troops Are “Directly Engaged”
According to U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the systems themselves were experiencing difficulties and not functioning to the desired standards, so the Iranians decided to send in trainers and technical assistance to assist the Russians in maximising their lethality.
In a briefing, spokesman John Kirby said that Iranian training and technicians assist the Russian military but that Russians operate the UAVs. He said that IRGC operatives are already there in Crimea.
Despite denials from the Kremlin, the E.U. and the United Kingdom have placed further sanctions on Iran for providing Russia’s military with ‘kamikaze’ drones for use on the Ukrainian battlefield.
In the latest measure, which has the approval of the United States, three Iranian generals and weapons manufacturers have been targeted. After three days of discussions, E.U. ambassadors have agreed on actions against firms who provide Iranian drones that strike Ukraine, the E.U.’s Czech president said. The E.U. is also willing to extend restrictions to four other Iranian organisations that were included on a previous list of penalties.
Major General Mohammed Hossein Bagheri, logistics officer General Sayed Hojatollah Qureishi, and Revolutionary Guards drone commander Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani have been sanctioned, according to AFP.
The E.U. sanctions resulted from a conference of 27 E.U. foreign ministers led by the president of the European Council, Charles Michel. According to a statement, the group also took swift measures against Iran, which supports Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
Particularly, the E.U. seeks to penalise the manufacturer of the Islamic Republic’s Shahed-136 drones, which are thought to be the kind now bombarding Ukrainian towns and energy infrastructure, resulting in hundreds of deaths and outages.
Meanwhile, the United States is pressuring the United Nations Security Council to take quick action since the transfer of drones constitutes a “clear breach” of a UNSC resolution. According to critics of Russia’s denials, there is “ample proof,” as Ned Price of the State Department said in a briefing.
Separately, the Pentagon threatened to make it “more difficult” to sell arms to Russia and warned that the United States expects Tehran will soon provide Moscow with conventional missiles like Fateh-110s and Zolfaghar.