Iran supplied Russia with hundreds of Zulfiqar missiles (Reuters)

Reuters quoted six sources as saying that Iran has provided Russia with a large number of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, in a step that strengthens military cooperation between the two countries subject to US sanctions.

Three Iranian sources reported that Tehran provided about 400 missiles, including many short-range ballistic missiles from the Fateh 110 family, such as the Zulfiqar missile. Experts say that this mobile missile is capable of hitting targets at distances ranging between 300 and 700 kilometers.

One Iranian source said that the shipments began in early January, after the agreement was concluded in meetings held late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials in Tehran and Moscow.

An Iranian military official, who like other sources requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information, said that there were at least 4 shipments of missiles and there will be more in the coming weeks, and he declined to provide further details.

Another senior Iranian official said that some of the missiles were sent to Russia by ship across the Caspian Sea, while others were transported by air.

The second Iranian official said, "There will be more shipments... There is no reason to hide the matter. We can export weapons to any country we want."

A fourth source familiar with the matter confirmed that Russia had received a large number of missiles from Iran recently, without providing further details.

UN Security Council restrictions on Iran's exports of some missiles, drones and other technology expired in October. However, the United States and the European Union maintained sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program amid concerns about arms exports to its Middle Eastern proxies and Russia.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in early January that the United States was concerned that Moscow was close to obtaining short-range ballistic missiles from Tehran, in addition to missiles it had already acquired from North Korea.

A US official told Reuters that Washington had seen evidence that the talks were actively progressing, but there was no indication yet that shipments had been delivered.

Kiev has asked Tehran several times to stop supplying Russia with Shahed drones (Associated Press)

No official information

On the other hand, a Ukrainian military source told Reuters that Kiev had not detected any use of Iranian ballistic missiles by Russian forces.

For his part, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat said that there is no official information that Iran has supplied Russia with hundreds of ballistic missiles. He added to Ukrainian television, "So far our official sources have no information about receiving missiles, especially this large number."

Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodnyuk indicated that Russia wants to support its missile arsenal, at a time when the delay in Congress’ approval of a large package of US military aid has led to Ukraine suffering from a shortage of ammunition and other materials.

Kiev has asked Tehran several times to stop supplying Russia with Shahed drones, which have become a key element in Moscow's long-range attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, as well as various types of missiles.

The Ukrainian Air Force said in December that Russia had launched 3,700 Shahed drones during the war, which can fly hundreds of kilometers and explode on impact. Air defenses shoot down dozens of them every week.

Iran initially denied supplying Russia with drones, but said several months later that it had provided a small number before Moscow launched war on Ukraine in 2022.

Source: Reuters