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Chinese Tech Powering Iranian Drones in Russia-Ukraine War

Parts of downed Iranian drone in Ukraine / Reuters
Parts of downed Iranian drone in Ukraine / Reuters

The Iranian-made drones Russia is using to kill Ukrainians are being powered by Chinese technology, showing that the Communist regime is playing a larger role in the conflict than previously known, according to a watchdog group.

Chinese Communist technology is “enabling Iran to manufacture and supply drones to Russian forces,” according to the Institute for Science and International Security, a think tank that closely monitors Iran’s military infrastructure. “It appears that Chinese companies are supplying Iran with copies of Western commodities to produce UAV combat drones.” Components used to power these drones also appear to originate from companies based in the United States and Europe.

The findings could spell trouble for the Western companies involved in this drone technology, as trade of this nature is heavily sanctioned by the United States and European governments. While it is more than likely Iran is procuring this technology on the black market with China’s help, watchdogs including the Institute for Science and International Security are calling on the Biden administration to more aggressively police these networks. This includes stopping negotiations aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear accord until Iran ends its military trade with Moscow.

“A priority is to understand how foreign parts are ending up in Iranian drones,” the institute says in its latest report. “Discovering Iranian procurement networks can start with the Western suppliers, who would be expected to cooperate with authorities. From there, authorities need to systematically expose Iran’s procurement network, identifying trading companies, distributors, shipping companies, agents friendly to Iran, and ultimately those in Iran organizing these purchases.”

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