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Iran Tests Drones Amid U.S. Concern of Possible Supply to Russia

An Iranian cleric stands near a drone during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 24, 2022. Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS
An Iranian cleric stands near a drone during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 24, 2022. Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

ran on Wednesday launched exercises to test its combat and reconnaissance drones, state media reported, amid U.S. concerns over the possible supply of Iranian-made unmanned aircraft to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.

The two-day war-games will involve 150 drones and will cover Iran’s Gulf coast and most of its territory, state television reported. The country’s air-defences and “electronic warfare” capabilities will also be tested against mock enemy drones.

Iran and the regional forces it backs have increasingly relied in recent years on drones in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.

The United States said earlier this month that Russian officials were being trained in Iran as part of an agreement on the transfer of drones between the two countries, and accused Tehran of planning to supply hundreds of unmanned aircraft to Moscow for use in Ukraine. 

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