The White House on Monday revealed new information about the close cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.
During a planned press conference, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that “Our information further indicates that Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use these UAVs, with the initial training session slated as soon as early July. It’s unclear whether Iran has delivered any of these UAVs to Russia already.”
Iran openly violating US sanctions is not surprising as the nation itself has been sanctioned by the United States for decades, since the raiding of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979 which led to 52 US diplomats being held hostage for 444 days, and who were subsequently released only on the day of Pres. Ronald Reagan’s first Inauguration.
The use of drones in the war in Ukraine has been a major point of attention and has played a critical role for Ukraine’s security. Ukraine, unlike Russia, has been able to rely on highly effective drones from Western markets, whereas Russia is left with generally inferior devices that rely on older technologies.
Iran, a longtime ally of Russia, is preparing for a state visit by Vladimir Putin on July 19. It is expected that there will be discussions regarding the war, sanctions, and cooperation in controlling the prices in the international oil markets.
Some speculated the decision of the White House to release this information now was to persuade critics who have been hostile to Biden’s decision to visit Saudi Arabia this Friday where the President will meet with the Saudi Prince who is believed to have ordered the murder of US Permanent Resident and Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia has been unwilling to assist the US with increased oil production to help the US and Europe cope with the now-sanctioned Russian oil. It is thought that the same type of drones that were used by Iran-financed Yemeni rebels to attack Saudi Arabia – thus making the case that by not firmly standing against Russia, the ally of Iran, Saudi Arabia was operating against its own national security concerns.
Pres. Joe Biden, in an unusual move, wrote a letter to the Washington Post over the weekend where he defended his decision to visit the Saudis by saying, “As president, it is my job to keep our country strong and secure. We have to counter Russia’s aggression, put ourselves in the best possible position to outcompete China, and work for greater stability in a consequential region of the world. To do these things, we have to engage directly with countries that can impact those outcomes. Saudi Arabia is one of them, and when I meet with Saudi leaders on Friday, my aim will be to strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values.”
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