Russia Is Sending Captured American Weapons To Iran – Sources familiar with the matter told CNN this week that Russia is sending captured U.S. and NATO weapons from Ukrainian forces to Iran.
According to the sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, Russia is sending the weapons to Iran so that they can be reverse-engineered.
The number of weapons sent to Iran is not understood to be significant, and U.S. intelligence only became aware of the matter because Ukrainian military officials frequently report losses of weapons sent by the United States to the Pentagon.
The simple answer is that Russia needs access to advanced weapons, and sending American weapons to Iran for reverse engineering could potentially give Russia an insight into how they can create weapons of a similar caliber even as Western sanctions make it difficult for Russia to purchase the semiconductors and other technological parts to create them.
Iran has some experience in reverse engineering weapons. Previously, Iran reverse-engineered the TOW anti-tank guided missile – a project that resulted in Iran’s own Toophan anti-tank guided missile, which is almost an identical replica of the American TOW missile.
The sources also claimed that Moscow may believe that sending captured Western weapons to Iran may ultimately give Tehran an incentive to continue supporting Russia’s war efforts.
It could mean that Russia eventually gets more advanced weaponry from Iran, manufactured using technological parts and chips that may be somewhat easier for the country to obtain than Russia, at the same time Tehran gets access to Western technologies that it may not previously have been able to examine.
The cooperation between the two countries may not result in any immediate change of dynamics on the battlefield, given the time it takes to reverse engineer and then manufacture new weapons based on the information obtained from that process.
However, it could ultimately prove beneficial to the two countries in the long run.
The news comes after five U.S. and NATO officials revealed how Iran is doubling down on its military support for Russia, striking a number of new deals that will see new Iranian drones manufactured in Russia.
Russia is also understood to be preparing to send advanced fighter jets, air defense systems, and helicopters to Iran in exchange.
MORE: SR-72 – A Mach 6 Bomber?
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.