White House says Iran is helping Russia build a drone factory east of Moscow for the war in Ukraine
WASHINGTON Iran is providing Russia with materials to build a drone manufacturing plant east of Moscow as the Kremlin looks to lock in a steady supply of weaponry for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, according to a U.S. intelligence finding released by the White House on Friday.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that U.S. intelligence officials believe a plant in Russias Alabuga special economic zone could be operational early next year. The White House also released satellite imagery taken in April of the industrial location, several hundred miles east of Moscow, where it believes the plant will probably be built.
President Joe Biden's administration publicly stated in December that it believed Tehran and Moscow were considering standing up a drone assembly line in Russia for the Ukraine war. The new intelligence suggests that the project, in the Yelabuga region of Tatarstan, has moved beyond conception.
Iran has said it provided drones to Russia before the start of the war but not since.