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Iran Sending Powerful Missiles to Russia After Biden Admin Let Sanctions Expire: Report

Iranian ballistic missiles are displayed during the ceremony of joining the Armed Forces, in Tehran, Iran, August 22, 2023. Iran's Presidency/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS/ File Photo
Iranian ballistic missiles are displayed during the ceremony of joining the Armed Forces, in Tehran, Iran, August 22, 2023. Iran’s Presidency/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS/ File Photo

By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

Iran is sending powerful missiles to Russia after the Biden administration and members of the United Nations (U.N.) allowed preventative sanctions to expire, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Iran sent hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia and in turn will receive fighter jets and helicopters from Moscow, representing deepened military ties between the two countries in recent years, according to Reuters. The U.S. and European partners declined to prevent the expiration of U.N. sanctions in late 2023 that curbed Iran’s ability to transfer missiles.

“It was always a matter of when – not if – Iran would transfer ballistic missiles to Russia,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu said in a statement on Wednesday. “Make no mistake, the country with the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East is now furnishing the Russian Federation with its most lethal weapons.”

Iran made several shipments of the missiles to Russia in January, and more shipments are expected in the coming weeks, according to Reuters. The shipment was agreed to as part of a deal that was finalized in late 2023.

“There will be more shipments,” an anonymous Iranian official told Reuters. “There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to.”

Russia received 400 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles from Iran, many of which come from the Fateh-110 family and have a range of between roughly 186 and 435 miles; Iran is set to receive Su-35 fighter jets, Mi-28 attack helicopters and Yak-130 pilot training aircraft from Russia, according to Reuters. Iran has also provided Russia with thousands of Shahed attack drones, although it initially denied that it was doing so.

The relationship between Iran and Russia has grown steadily since the latter country first invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Tehran believes that Moscow can help it evade U.S. sanctions and bolster its presence on the world stage.

“For a risk-tolerant Islamic Republic, the partnership with Russia continues to bear fruit,” Taleblu said.

The shipments come after the expiration of U.N. Security Council sanctions that previously prevented Iran from testing or transferring ballistic missile technology, according to FDD. The sanctions expired in October 2023, even though the Biden administration and European partners had the ability to prevent them from expiring.

With the sanctions gone, Iran can now “legally” test and transfer ballistic missiles, according to FDD.

The Biden administration has been accused of taking a weak stance in dealing with Iran, such as easing up on oil sanctions that allowed Tehran to rake in billions of dollars and paying “ransom” for five Americans unjustly held prisoner in the country. The Biden administration hopes its policies toward Iran will encourage the country to be less aggressive but critics say that will not happen.

The White House National Security Council and State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Related Story: Russia Routing U.S. Made Weapons Captured in Ukraine to Iran for Reverse Engineering: Report

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