Russia flew stolen Western cash and weapons to Iran: report

Russia sent cash and stolen Western arms to Iran in August, the first glimpse of what Tehran received in exchange for supporting Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

“As always in international politics, and not least in Moscow and Tehran, there is no such thing as a free lunch,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital. “Not only can Iran use Ukraine as another proving ground for its unmanned air strikes, but it can bolster Putin’s war machine, which both diverts world attention from the Middle East and imposes a death-by-a-thousand-cuts strategy on the West.”

Ben Taleblu’s comments come after a Sky News report on Tuesday revealed that Russia has flown over $140 million worth of stolen Western anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. The weapons include a British NLAW anti-tank missile, a US Javelin anti-tank missile and a Stinger anti-aircraft missile that were part of a shipment to Ukraine but “fell into Russian hands,” the outlet said, citing a security source.

IRAN SENT MORE THAN 3,500 DRONES TO RUSSIA FOR ITS WAR AGAINST UKRAINE: INTEL DOSSIER

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
(Russian Presidential Press Service via AP)

The source said supplying Western weapons could allow Iran to reverse engineer them and use them in future wars,” Ben Taleblu warned, which would “enhance Iran’s already developing domestic weapons production capabilities.”

Sky News shared satellite photos they claim show two Russian military cargo planes at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport in August, with the source saying the cash and ammunition were Russia’s payment for the suicide drones that Iran had sent to Russia in recent years months for use in Ukraine.

The source added that Russia has added more than $200 million worth of drones in recent days.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander General Hossein Salami, left, and Guards Aerospace Division Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh chat while unveiling a new drone bearing the name "gaza" at an unknown location in Iran.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander General Hossein Salami, left, and Guards Aerospace Division Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh chat while unveiling a new drone dubbed “Gaza” at an undisclosed location in Iran.
(Sepah News via AP)

ZELENSKYY SAYS RUSSIA ‘LIKELY’ PAYING FOR IRANIAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH-ASSISTED DRONES

“For the first time, we have a glimpse of what Russia might provide to Iran in exchange for loitering munitions and unmanned combat aircraft,” Ben Taleblu said. “Furthermore, the latest report confirms previous Israeli concerns about problems that could arise from possible deployments of air defense systems in Ukraine, such as the Iron Dome.”

In October, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to regain his post as prime minister after the 2022 Israeli general election, expressed concern over Israel agreeing to send anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine, arguing that such shipments risk being stolen in Iran land.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(Ronen Zvulun/Pool via AP)

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“On the issue of weapons, there is always the possibility, and it has happened time and again, that weapons that we have supplied on a battlefield will end up in Iranian hands to be used against us,” Netanyahu said during an October interview with MSNBC . “In the Golan Heights, where we are trying to prevent Iran from building a second Lebanon front, a second terrorist front against us, we are encountering Israeli weapons.”



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