New proof contradicts Iranian's claim about when they last gave the Russians drones- Parts were newly mfg this past May

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A recent report published by Conflict Armament Research (CAR) detailed the documentation of information gathered from four uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) that were recovered from the battlefield in Ukraine. Components were analyzed from one Shahed-131 UAV, two Shahed-136 UAVs, one Mohajer-6 UAV, and a Qaem-5 precision-guided munition. [i]

Analysis of the drone components confirmed that the UAVs originated in Iran. Furthermore, the research indicates that "they include many recently manufactured parts produced by companies primarily based in the United States." CAR emphasizes that such a discovery presents critical questions about existing sanctions' effectiveness. [ii]
An artist's impression of Shahed-136 drones swarming an airport.Photo Commons

United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 2231 restricts Iran's nuclear program and "bars Iranian transfers of certain military technologies in exchange for sanctions relief." Now, the US asserts that Iran's provision of drones to Russia violated Annex B, paragraph four of Resolution 2231, valid through Oct. 2023. [iii] [iv] [v]

Iran has responded to the allegations on multiple occasions. First, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that Tehran "has not and will not provide any weapon to be used in the Ukraine war." [vi]

Several days later, Iran submitted a letter to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General in which it asserted,

Iran has never supplied, nor does it intend to supply, items, materials, equipment, goods or technology that it determines could contribute to the development of nuclear weaon delivery systems. [vii] [viii]
A part of a Shahed-136 drone was shot down near the town of Kupiansk.Photo Commons

Iran further argued that Annex B paragraph 4 relates only to contributing to nuclear weapon development and that Iran's "supply, sale or transfer of arms or related material," drones in this case, to other countries, does not fall under Resolution 2231.[vii] [viii]

A week later, following numerous drone attacks in Ukraine and further accusations, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confessed only to providing Russia "a small number of drones months before the Ukraine war." He asserted that "the missile part is completely wrong," referring to claims that Iran provided Russia with surface-to-surface missiles. [ix]

The recent analysis of one UAV's equipped Iranian Qaem-5 precision-guided munition reveals that it is labeled with a lot number, serial number, and the date May 2022. The date indicates that the components were manufactured after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. Consequently, CAR asserts that this demonstrates that Iran has provided "at least some supplies since the invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022." [x]
Part of a Shahed-131 UAV that was recovered in Ukraine.Photo Commons

Additionally, CAR's in-depth analysis of components of the four UAVs and the Qaem-5 revealed them to be "made almost exclusively of parts produced by companies based in Asia, Europe, and the United States." The report also states,

More than 70 manufacturers based in 13 different countries and territories produced the components that CAR documented in Iranian material in Ukraine. Eighty-two percent were manufactured in companies based in the United States. [xi]

Since the disclosure of the accusations, the European Union (EU) Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said,

We are coordinating with partners and allies to take further sanctions against Iran responding to the proliferation of Iranian drones. [xii]

Read the full CAR report, Dissecting Iranian drones employed by Russia in Ukraine, here.

Read Iran's letter to the UN, which is dated Oct. 19 here, and its letter dated Oct. 24 here.

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[i] Conflict Armament Research, Dissecting Iranian drones employed by Russia in Ukraine (Nov. 2022)

[ii] Id.

[iii] BBC, Ukraine war: US says Iranian drones breach sanctions (Oct. 18, 2022)

[iv] Austin Bodetti, John P. Caves III, Stuck in the Past: The UN's 2231 List (Jan. 31, 2022)

[v] The United Nations Security Council, Resolution 2231 (Jul. 20, 2015)

[vi] Niamh Kennedy et al., Iran denies supplying Russia with weapons for use in Ukraine (Oct. 15, 2022)

[vii] Amir Saeid Iravani, Letter dated Oct. 19, 2022, from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (Oct. 19, 2022)

[viii] Amir Saeid Iravani, Letter dated Oct. 24, 2022, from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council (Oct. 24, 2022)

[ix] Reuters, Iran says it supplied drones to Russia before the Ukraine war began (Nov. 5, 2022)

[x] Conflict Armament Research, Dissecting Iranian drones employed by Russia in Ukraine (Nov. 2022)

[xi] Id.

[xii] Iran International, Iran's Proliferation Of Weapons A Threat To Europe: EU (Nov. 20, 2022)

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