The United States is pushing Iran to stop selling attack drones to Russia aspart of discussions on a broader “unwritten understanding” between Washington and Tehran to de-escalate tensions and contain a long-simmering nuclear crisis.
That’s according to a report on UK newspaper the Financial Times published on Aug. 16.
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden raised the issue with the Islamic regime at indirect talks in Qatar and Oman this year, according to people briefed on the matter, the FT reported.
The discussions have been taking place alongside negotiations on a prisoner exchange deal that led to Tehran transferring four Iranian-U.S. citizens from prison to house arrest last week, the people said.
According to an Iranian official and another person briefed on the talks, the United States wants Iran to stop supplying Russia with the attack drones that Moscow is using in the war in Ukraine, as well as providing spare parts for the unmanned aircraft.
The official added that Tehran – which officially denies its drones are being used in Ukraine – had repeatedly asked Moscow to stop deploying them in the conflict, but Washington wanted “more concrete steps.”
The negotiators hope the indirect talks will lead to both sides agreeing de-escalatory measures. For Iran, this would mean agreeing not to enrich uranium above 60% purity, improving its co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and pledging not to target Americans, said the Iranian official and another person briefed on the talks.
In return, Washington would refrain from imposing fresh sanctions in some areas, with the exception of those involving human rights, and would not strictly police the sanctions already in place on oil sales, the Iranian official said.
Iran’s help to Russia in the war against Ukraine: What is known
U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported in late April that, over the past six months, Iran has supplied Russia with over 300,000 artillery shells and around one million rounds of ammunition via cargo ships.
Read also: Russia has sufficient Iranian-made Shahed drones to attack Ukraine daily
In exchange for weapons to continue its full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia supplies Iran with cyber weapons, Western weapons “captured on the battlefield” and helps develop the missile program.
Earlier, a joint investigation by Protocol and the RZVRT YouTube channel reported that Russia is producing Iranian kamikaze drones in the special economic zone in Alabuga, Tatarstan.
According to one of the journalists’ sources, the contract with Iran can be estimated at 115-130 billion rubles (up to $1.45 billion). Currently, components for the kamikaze drones are supplied from Iran and assembled in Alabuga.
UK intelligence has also reported that Russia has probably switched from small shipments of Iranian UAVs by air to larger shipments by ship across the Caspian Sea.
Intelligence sources confirmed that the Russians are also working on launching domestic production of Shaheds, with Iranian support.
Read also: Risk of new attacks after Russia receives more Iranian drones, Kyiv warns
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on June 9 that, according to U.S. intelligence, Iran was providing Russia with materials to build a drone manufacturing plant to ensure a steady supply of weapons for the war against Ukraine.
On June 12, NV reported that a Chinese-made part from 2023 was found in the downed Iranian kamikaze drone.
Cyrillic writing was visible in the wreckage of several Shahed drones that were downed during recent Russian air attacks, whichindicates that they were made in Russia, the head of the Joint Coordination Press Center of the Southern Defense Forces, Natalia Humeniuk, said on July 26.
On Aug. 8, Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa called on his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, not to provide Russia with weapons for its war against Ukraine.
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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine