French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday urged his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi to “immediately end” Tehran’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which involves supplying Moscow with attack drones, the Elysee said.

Macron in a telephone call underlined the serious “security and humanitarian consequences” of Iran’s drone deliveries “and urged Tehran to immediately end the support it thus gives to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine”, said a statement.

The call came a day after White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Russia was receiving materials from Iran to build a drone factory on its territory that “could be fully operational early next year”.

The White House released a satellite image of the location of the prospective plant in the Alabuga special economic zone, some 900 kilometres (560 miles) east of Moscow.

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“The Russia-Iran military partnership appears to be deepening,” Kirby said in a statement, citing US intelligence information.

The United States has said that Russia has received hundreds of Iranian attack drones to attack Kyiv and “terrorise” Ukrainians, a charge denied by Tehran.

According to US data, the drones are built in Iran, shipped across the Caspian Sea “and then used operationally by Russian forces against Ukraine”, Kirby said.

The White House said it would release a new government advisory to assist businesses and governments “to ensure they are not inadvertently contributing to Iran’s (drone) program”.

Zelensky in Berlin, Paris for Security Pacts
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Zelensky in Berlin, Paris for Security Pacts

Zelensky's European tour comes at a critical time for Ukrainian troops, who are facing an incredibly difficult situation on the eastern frontlines because of ammunition shortages.
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