When Was It Used? Ukraine has reported weeks ago that Russia launched attacks with Iranian Shahed-136 drones, drones whose warheads explode in suicide landings. Images of suspected Iranian drones were very similar to the drones used in Iran’s September 28 bombing of the Kurdistan region that involved missiles and kamikaze drones, displacing hundreds and killing 20 people. The attack was unprecedent in scale and probably served as a dry run for its use in Ukraine by Russia. The attacks success did draw customers to Iran’s growing drone market.
The World Takes it Seriously: Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted yesterday, that the parties who used to say that pictures of advanced missile equipment and Iranian drones were fabricated are now warning of their danger, and ask Iran who does its sell to. The supreme leader’s message was also published in Spanish, with the supreme leader talking about the issues subtitled in Spanish.
Kamikaze Drone: The Iran-made Shahed-136 Kamikaze drone was the same used in the Kurdistan region and Ukrainian President Zelensky said today, October 20, that his army has shot down 233 Iran-made Shahed-136 drones.
(Left) Iranian Kamikaze drone heading for target in Zir Gwezala, Sulaimani, Kurdistan region, sept, 28, 2022. (KurdSat).
(Right) An Iranian-made drone flies over Kyiv, Ukraine on Oct. 17 seconds before firing on buildings. (NIKKEI ASIA).
They Are Similar: Fighters of Kurdish Iranian opposition groups recorded a Kamikaze drone pouring down their base in Sulaimani’s Zir Gwezala region. The drones struck multiple areas of the Kurdistan region with remarkable precision. Though, the attack on the Kurdistan region did not draw much international attention and is largely ignored.
Ukraine Is Concerned: In a letter to the UN Security Council, the representative of Ukraine said, that his country's assessments indicate that Tehran plans to export hundreds of drones to Russia, adding that this is a violation of the Council Resolution 2231 of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the West.
Drone-linked Sanctions: The European Union has threatened Iran with sanctions in response to its sale to Russia of drones used in the bombing of Ukraine, saying that it has sufficient evidence to impose sanctions on Tehran for providing Russia with the drones it uses in the war on Ukraine.
Iran Sends Its Drones Abroad: Iran has sent trainers to occupied Ukraine to help Russians overcome problems with the fleet of drones that they purchased from Tehran, according to current and former U.S. officials briefed on the classified intelligence, a further signal of the growing closeness between Iran and Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, per the New York Times.
It Is A Violation Of Iran Deal: A diplomatic source with the UN Security Council said on Wednesday that the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo confirmed, that any transfer of drones from Iran without the council's prior approval would constitute a violation of Resolution No. 2231 of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Reuters reported that Iran has promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles and more drones.
Used In Ukraine: The UN Security Council met, on Wednesday evening, in a closed session to discuss the Iranian drones, which the Ukrainians and their Western allies assert that Russia uses to launch attacks in Ukraine.
A spokesman for the US mission to the United Nations said that there is evidence that Russia used Iranian drones in its war on Ukraine.
The US State Department also said that it has ample evidence of the use of Iranian marches to strike civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine, stressing that it will not hesitate to use sanctions and all appropriate mechanisms against those involved in transferring these drones to Russia.
Sanctions: The Wall Street Journal had quoted diplomats as saying that the European Union had agreed to impose sanctions on 3 senior Iranian military commanders and a drone manufacturer, to be approved this morning, Thursday, in response to Iran’s supply of drones to Russia.
The assets of the Iranian Chief of General Staff Mohammad Bagheri will be frozen and he will be banned from travel.
Iran Denies Drone Export: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian called on Ukraine to submit its documents regarding the use of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war.
Abdullahian said, in a telephone conversation with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić-Radman, that Iran strongly opposes the war and arming one of its sides, adding that Tehran has had defense cooperation with Russia for years, but it did not support it in the war on Ukraine. Abdullahian also denied that his country had provided Moscow with any kind of weapons.
New Security Challenge: Iranian drones are now widely used across the Middle East. Iran backed groups have used them against their adversaries in Iraq, Kurdistan region, Lebanon and Palestine and Israel. In a region where terrorist groups dot its map, proliferation of drone and its technology would pose another threat to the region’s fragile security.
Iran-Made Shahed-136 Drone inside An Apparent Bunker
Shaheed-136: The Shahed-136 is a long-range suicide drone for hitting immovable targets. It was developed by stated-linked Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) and entered into service in 2021. The drone gained fame following its deployment in the Kurdistan region’s September 28 attack and the Ukraine War. It is 3.5 meters long, and 2.5 meters wide with a warhead capable of carrying up to 36 kilograms of explosives, and can fly at a maximum speed of 185km/h.