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China providing parts to Iran drones for Russia invasion, report reveals

June 13, 2023 at 9:55 pm

An Iranian Simorgh drone on 11 September, 2020 [Iranian Army office/AFP via Getty Images]

The discovery of a Chinese component in an Iranian drone has implicated Beijing in Tehran’s production and supply of armed combat drones to Russia, revealing the speed at which the UAVs are built and provided to Moscow during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

According to the Wall Street Journal, investigators from the UK-based organisation, Conflict Armament Research (CAR), revealed to it the discovery of a newly-built Chinese part inside a downed Iranian Shahed-136 drone.

It reportedly contained a voltage converter which was produced in China in mid-January this year, shipped to Iran, integrated and fitted into the UAV, and then transported to Russia in April.

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That timeline gives the entire procedure a period of around 3 months, presenting a shorter time frame than many Western nations and institutions previously thought.

According to Damien Spleeters, deputy Director of Operations at CAR, evidence of the drone’s Iranian origin was seen in the fact that it contained an Iranian-made engine which was reportedly produced by a company repeatedly sanctioned by the United States and other Western nations over its active role in Iran’s drone programme and supply of the armed UAVs to Russia.

Over the past year, Tehran’s role in directly assisting Moscow in its war effort was steadily revealed and established as a fact. The revelation of a newly-developed Chinese component inside one of those drones, however, not only reveals the speed at which the weapons are constructed and transported, but also confirms long-held suspicions of Beijing’s involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its indirect assistance to Moscow.

READ: UK universities helped Iran develop military drone programme, report claims