Possible Russia-Iran defense partnership has US, Britain on edge
CIA Director William Burns claims a Russian-Iranian defense partnership can have a dangerous impact on the Middle East.
CIA Director William Burns pointed out on Friday that the US is concerned about the growing cooperation between Russia and Iran and fears that it could eventually evolve into a full defense partnership.
In an interview for PBS, Burns said that "historically, there's a lot of mistrust between Russians and Iranians, but they need each other right now."
"Quite worried," said the CIA director in response to a question about how worried is Washington about the Russian-Iranian relationship, adding that "what's beginning to emerge is at least the beginnings of a full-fledged defense partnership between Russia and Iran."
He claimed that this relationship is "already having an impact on the battlefield in Ukraine," warning that "it can have an even more dangerous impact on the Middle East as well if it continues."
"It's something that we take very, very seriously," Burns pointed out.
It is noteworthy that Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani pointed out on Monday that Kiev failed to provide concrete evidence proving that Iran had supplied drones to Russia.
According to Ashtiani, Iran and Russia have a trade and military history that stretches back for decades, but they have never discussed supplying Iranian-made drones to be used in Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
Last month, Iran's permanent mission to the UN requested to meet with Ukraine experts to provide Tehran with valid proof that Iran had supplied drones to Russia for combat use against Kiev's forces. Their failure to do so validates that the allegations were deliberately fabricated by Kiev to discredit and demonize Iran.
Then on November 23, it was reported that a meeting between Iranian and Ukrainian military experts was held to discuss Kiev's allegations regarding Russia's alleged use of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine, but no details were provided.
Ever since the White House issued in July a statement that Iran is planning to supply Russia with hundreds of drones, the West has repeatedly accused Iran of aiding Russia in its combat efforts, despite Moscow denying allegations that it received drones from Iran for combat-related use.
Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will not side in the war, denying all claims that it has provided Russia with weapons to be used in Ukraine.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had confirmed that Iran did provide a small batch of drones to Russia, but that was before the Ukraine conflict broke out.
On October 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow and Tehran gave exhaustive explanations to the UN Security Council on the alleged use of Iranian drones in combat.
UK: Russia-Iran "sordid deals" threatening global security
In a related context, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly claimed that "sordid deals" between Russia and Iran are threatening global security.
In a press release published on the website of the UK government, Cleverly accused Iran of providing Russia with hundreds of drones to use in Ukraine, adding that Tehran "is now one of Russia’s top military backers."
He also claimed that Russia is offering military and technical support to the Iranian government, which will "increase the risk it poses to our partners in the Middle East and to international security."
"The UK will continue to expose this desperate alliance and hold both countries to account," Cleverly said.
The press release read that "the UK is concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, allowing the regime to strengthen their weapons capability."
It is noteworthy that the Russian-Iranian cooperation is worrying the Israeli occupation, as Israeli media reported that the military intelligence directorates in the Israeli occupation are currently highly concerned over the Russian-Iranian military and security cooperation.
Reports made by intelligence agencies, Israeli media said, are talking about a bilateral agreement to manufacture hundreds of military UAVs in Moscow and the export of advanced air defense systems from Russia to Iran.