Status: 30.09.2023, 20:45 p.m.
By: Bedrettin Bölükbasi
Weapons from Iran: Does Tehran also support Putin with ballistic missiles? © Iranian Presidency/dpa
Iran is supplying weapons to Russia for Putin's war against Ukraine. Now a crucial UN resolution expires – the sale becomes "legal".
Moscow/Tehran – Russia's ruler Vladimir Putin no longer has many allies. In the Ukraine war, he can only trust a handful of states. This also includes Iran: the military aid of the regime in Tehran in particular is of vital importance for the Kremlin chief, because without it his military, which is already plagued by heavy losses, would be even weaker.
In the Ukraine war: Iran could supply missiles to Russia – UN resolution expires
The use of Iranian kamikaze drones and other equipment is now part of everyday life in the Russian army. The Shahed kamikaze drones, for example, are an integral part of Russian attacks on civilian and military facilities on Ukrainian territory. But the aid from Iran is not only drones, but also reportedly ballistic missiles.
Now the delivery of powerful Iranian missiles is likely to become even easier, because a crucial United Nations (UN) resolution expires in mid-October – and so do the associated sanctions. We are talking about Resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from selling certain weapons without the prior approval of the UN Security Council. The U.S., Britain and France had already accused Iran of violating the resolution by supplying drones.
Fateh and Zolfighar missiles could strengthen Putin's army in Ukraine war
Since the Iranian drones, with a range of 1000 kilometers, exceed the limit of 300 kilometers set by the resolution, but carry an explosive charge lighter than 50 kilograms, this violation was controversial. But if Iran had supplied the Fateh and Zolfighar ballistic missiles, it would have been a violation with no room for debate. According to the US think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Iran will supply Russia with precisely these weapons.
As early as 2022, there had been reports of Iranian preparations to supply Fateh and Zolfighar missiles to Russia. During Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's visit to Tehran last week (September 19), he was presented with the latest version of the Fateh missile. The Ukrainian defense magazine Defense Express reported that Iran has prepared large shipments of ballistic missiles and, accordingly, there could be a very large delivery.
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Important help for Putin in the Ukraine war: Iran could supply Russian army with new missiles
According to the magazine, the Fateh-110, which Russia is interested in, has a range of 300 kilometers and can carry an explosive charge of 650 kilograms. Compared to the Fateh, the Zolfighar can fly even further, but carries fewer explosives: it has a range of 700 kilometers and a warhead of 580 kilograms. According to Defense Express, the accuracy of these missiles leaves much to be desired, which is why Moscow is very likely to fire them at large cities with the hope of a psychological effect.
One problem is apparently the defense against these missiles. Only a few air defense systems in the hands of the Ukrainian patrol forces can destroy the Iranian missiles before they reach their target. Only the SAMP/T and Patriot systems could shoot down the ballistic missiles, according to Defense Express. However, there are only a few of them, while the area to be protected is very large. Ukraine is constantly demanding more and more developed air defense systems from the West. This could now become all the more important. (bb)