Russia may have purchased an unknown number of recently-unveiled Arash-2 drones from Iran, the Institute for the Study of War revealed.
Citing Russian and Ukrainian Telegram posts, the Washington DC-based think tank wrote that the loitering munition is “faster and more destructive” than the Shahed-136 Iranian kamikaze drone currently being used by the Russians in Ukraine.
Iran’s Army Ground Force unveiled the Arash-2 in a military drill in September, claiming to have developed the drone to target the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa more than 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) away.
Several reports about Iranian ARASH-2 Attack drones heading for Russia. Long range and large warhead – these – if supplied – could cause much more damage than the Shahed 136. pic.twitter.com/fnOPONzrhW
— Tal Inbar (@inbarspace) October 15, 2022
Sanctions Force Moscow to Rely on Tehran
The Institute for the Study of War observed that Russia’s continuous reliance on Iranian drones dovetails with a US Treasury Department report claiming that sanctions have impeded Moscow’s capacity to replace its depleting stock of “microelectronics critical for the military-industrial complex.”
“Russia will likely continue to leverage its relationship with Iran to circumvent sanctions, although it is very unlikely that Russian forces will use the Arash-2 to any greater effect than they have used the Shahed-136 model,” the think tank assessed.
Calls for Sanctions against Iranian Drone Program
Meanwhile, the US warned of sanctions against countries or companies involved in Iranian drone or missile programs following the latest Russian “kamikaze drone” attacks in Ukraine on Monday that claimed eight lives.
Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Iranian drones were used in Russian attacks against several infrastructure targets in many Ukraine cities, a charge Tehran denied.