Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
Despite widespread support coming from the political West, the Kiev regime never seems to be happy, no matter how much money, resources or other forms of support it is set to receive. The latest claim that the Neo-Nazi junta is making is that at least 75% of the Iranian drones’ components are made in the United States, European Union, Japan, and other vassals/satellite states of the political West. According to the Kiev regime sources, the parts that were identified by the Neo-Nazi junta’s military intelligence were allegedly produced by Western companies. The regime claims that the findings were supposedly verified by the Kiev-based Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO), Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Allegedly, Western-made components include guidance systems, engines and parts of the control surfaces used to steer the drones. NAKO claims the information was acquired by examining several downed Shahed-136 loitering munitions (known as “Geranium 2” in Russian service), as well as at least one Mohajer-6 drone that was supposedly “hacked mid-flight and landed intact.” The report states that the identified components include Japanese-made servomotors, manufactured by Tonegawa-Seiko Co. and German- and US-made electronics developed by Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG and Arizona-based Microchip Technology Inc. Both companies are considered some of the leading microchip manufacturers. Other components also include telescopic infrared lenses that are reportedly identical to Israeli ones made by the Jerusalem-based Ophir Optronics Solutions Ltd.
According to the report, the majority of the aforementioned components are not under sanctions or export controls and can be acquired online. The WSJ claims that officials in the US Military Industrial Complex are saying that, following the Kiev regime’s accusations, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security launched an investigation and is trying to determine how Western-made components ended up in Iranian drones. Reportedly, the Defense Ministry of Israel is also investigating the issue. NAKO made the allegations on the same day when Washington DC and Israel accused Tehran of being responsible for the attack on an Israeli-owned oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
For its part, Iran claims that the drones in question were delivered to Russia months before Moscow launched its counteroffensive against NATO’s crawling aggression in Eastern Europe. In early November, Tehran even scheduled a meeting with the Kiev regime military officials to review their claims regarding the drones, but the Neo-Nazi junta canceled it at the last minute, allegedly under pressure from the US and Germany. Soon after, during yet another pompous public address, the Kiev regime frontman Volodymyr Zelensky stated that “Iran must be punished” for selling weapons to Russia.
Security officials from the political West have “expressed concern” that Tehran’s rapidly expanding unmanned aircraft industry is a “greater immediate threat than the country’s nuclear program.” This also includes the Iranian drones’ possible export success. In October, Iranian Head Adviser for Military Affairs, Major General Rahim Safavi, stated that at least two dozen countries expressed interest in acquiring Iranian attack drones, reportedly including Armenia, Algeria, Serbia, Tajikistan and Venezuela. Major General Safavi also said that the Middle Eastern country currently produces approximately 80% of its defense equipment locally. According to Iranian sources, this also includes Iran’s own domestically-built hypersonic weapons.
Since September, numerous sources reported that Iran emerged as an important auxiliary arms supplier for Russia. The evidence that Iranian drones are being used by Russia is quite strong, although it’s unclear if Moscow acquired the UAVs directly from Tehran or if they’re being made domestically, under license. The deal reportedly includes the Shahed-136 loitering munitions, as well as higher-end drones, such as the Mohajer-6. Some reports indicate that it’s not unlikely top-end Iranian drones such as the Shahed-191 stealth unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) also might be used by the Russian military.
The extent of Moscow’s reliance on Iranian drones is still limited, albeit it has had tactically significant results. Still, determining their long-term impact on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine is nearly impossible at this point. This is also in part because Russia is using a plethora of its own domestically-built armed drones and loitering munitions/kamikaze drones, particularly the deadly ZALA “Lancet”. On the other hand, the detrimental effect that Iranian-made drones have had on the Kiev regime forces is wholly undeniable.
The low-cost drones have dramatically depleted the Neo-Nazi junta’s air defenses. The situation on the ground suggests that the Kiev regime forces are virtually defenseless against Russian and Iranian drones. This is further reinforced by battlefield footage showing the Neo-Nazi junta troops desperately trying to shoot down these drones, including with small arms fire. All the while, their key military units and infrastructure are being targeted with impunity, as they have no ways to prevent drone strikes. This also explains why the Kiev regime is so desperate to accuse Iran and others of its failures (one of many).