European concerns rise over Russian use of Iranian drones in Ukraine

By Arie Egozi

Israel has shared its intelligence about the Iranian-made drones with the US and European countries, which consider this weapon system a threat to their interests. Israeli sources told Defence Industry Europe that in recent months, Israeli companies that developed anti-drone systems have received an "unprecedented" number of requests from European countries to evaluate the systems.

According to the Iran International website, operated from London by the opposition to the Iranian regime, the United States and three of its European allies have demanded an investigation by the United Nations regarding the Russian use of Iranian drones against Ukraine.

In a session of the Security Council on Friday, Britain, France, and Albania joined the US in demanding an urgent investigation after months of mass Russian drone attacks using Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones against Ukrainian civilian and military targets.

“What was most notable is that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US ambassador to the United Nations, told the Security Council that the deployment of Iranian drones in a foreign war is a potential violation of Council’s 2015 Resolution 2231. That resolution, which accompanies the JCPOA nuclear accord, banned certain Iranian weapons exports until October 2023.”



According to the website, the US ambassador stated that the United Nations must implement Security Council Resolution 2231. “We still have no explanation as to why experts from the 2231 team have not been dispatched to Ukraine to review evidence of these weapons’ origins and the destruction these weapons have caused. The UN must act with urgency. This is a matter of life or death for the Ukrainian people.”

Russia was one of the signatories of the Obama-era nuclear agreement aimed at restricting Iran’s nuclear program. Resolution 2231, by extension, was meant to prevent Iran from developing weapons systems that could be used for the delivery of nuclear weapons.

The Biden administration warned about Russian plans to acquire the drones as early as July 2022. The first mass deployment of these one-way killer drones emerged in early October.

According to the website, Russia uses the Shahed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for three purposes. First, they are used to hit targets, but the drones fly slowly and are very noisy. Ukrainian forces have learned to shoot down most of them. However, the Russian military has used dozens of Shahed drones in many attacks during missile barrages to overwhelm air defenses and allow more expensive missiles to penetrate Ukraine’s anti-air shield.

The third purpose, according to some experts, is simply to force Ukraine to use its expensive and limited number of Western-supplied anti-air missiles on the Iranian drones, which are much cheaper and estimated to cost around $20,000.

“We know the Kremlin has procured hundreds of UAVs and is now working with Iran to produce these weapons inside Russia. And we know that in recent weeks, the Kremlin has used these UAVs to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure and kill and terrorize civilians,” Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council on Friday.



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