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US: Iran drone factory in Russia could be operational next year

Iran has already been shipping drones via the Caspian Sea to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine, White House says.
Iran drones

The Biden administration on Thursday accused Iran of providing Russia with materials to build a factory east of Moscow to produce armed drones for use in the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, citing declassified intelligence, told reporters that the manufacturing plant could be up and running by early next year at at the Alabuga Special Economic Zone in Russia’s Tatarstan.

Why it matters: The revelation suggests Russia’s plans to produce Iranian attack drones for its own use may already be in motion.

The White House first publicly accused Tehran in December of preparing to assist Russia in manufacturing the drones domestically, after revealing that Iran’s government had been supplying Russia with a stream of the unmanned weapons in order to bolster the Kremlin’s own dwindling precision munition stockpiles.

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