Photo: Meeting of the presidents of Iran and Russia in July 2022
Source: Deutsche Welle
Cooperation between Iran and Russia has been going on for many years. Under the conditions of international sanctions, Iran was a sales market for the Russian military-industrial complex. In addition, there was cooperation between the states in the missile industry and in the field of nuclear energy, in particular, the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant.
In the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Iran stepped forward to further deepen relations with the Russian Federation and actually acted as a situational ally of the aggressor state. In the face of decreasing Russian military superiority due to the supply of Western technological weapons to Ukraine, Tehran is massively supplying Shahed-136 and Mohajer-6 drones. This weapon provided the Russian Federation with the capability to increase the number of strikes on Ukrainian cities and use the drones provided to them both on the battlefield and for strikes on civilian infrastructure. Thus, Iran became an accomplice in the aggression against Ukraine, along with Russia and Belarus, which gives Russian Federation its territory for aggression.
In October, the Washington Post, citing US and allied security officials, reported Iran's intention to supply Russia with short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. This information was subsequently confirmed by the Defence intelligence of Ukraine. According to Yury Ignat, a representative of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia has agreed not only on supply of 2,400 drones from Iran, but also of ballistic missiles. The ballistic missiles that Russia plans to acquire from Iran are similar to the Russian Iskander missiles. We are talking about "Fateh-110" and "Zolfaghar".
In such circumstances, the question arises of increasing the price of such actions for the theocratic state. Ukraine's partners: The United States, namely the Biden administration, France, Great Britain and Germany tried to keep the Iranian nuclear agreement alive. In accordance with the agreement, Western countries lift a number of sanctions, and Iran fulfills obligations that limit the country's ability to create nuclear weapons. However, the only effective response to Iran's actions towards support of Russia is the imposition of severe economic and technological sanctions, since personal sanctions will be extremely limited and will not affect the actions of the state.
Partner countries: France, Germany and Great Britain have already reacted to Iran's actions by supporting Ukraine's call for a UN investigation into the use of drones of Iranian origin. In response, the countries received threats: "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its pursuit to protect its national interest and to secure the rights of the noble Iranian people, reserves the right to respond to any irresponsible action," the Iranian foreign ministry website quoted Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry as saying. It will not hesitate to defend the interests of the Iranian people," he said. Soon after, information appeared in the media about Iran's readiness to strike targets in Saudi Arabia with drones and ballistic missiles. The intelligence of Saudi Arabia also found out that another target of Iran could be Iraq, namely Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
During this same period, North Korea, against the background of joint US-South Korean military exercises, fired hundreds of artillery shells into the sea and said that it was an imitation of strikes on the forces of the two countries. The same North Korea, according to the spokesman of the US National Security Council, John Kirby, supplies Russia with artillery shells.
Currently, an axis of autocratic states has formed around the Russian Federation, which want to change the existing world order in the fight against democratic countries. With the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the increased involvement of Ukraine's partners, these states are more inclined to help the Russian Federation. One of the reasons is there is actually no price for such actions. Therefore, it is necessary to put pressure on the partners of the Russian Federation within international organizations and impose sanctions on them. First of all, this concerns Iran, whose drones are destroying the Ukrainian energy system and killing Ukrainian citizens. Because of such massive strikes, about 40% of the Ukrainian energy system was damaged.
Increasing confrontation on several fronts at once could become a problem for the US and the North Atlantic Alliance. In particular, Iran may try to complete the creation of nuclear weapons. In this case, the allies will have to strike Iran, which will lead to the formation of a second theater of hostilities. In this context, it is worth mentioning the position of Israel. Israel, unexpectedly for many in Ukraine, took a neutral, partially pro-Russian position. With the beginning of the war, unlike the citizens of their country, the government stayed away, even banned Ukrainians from entering. Subsequently, the state began to provide more non-military support and strengthened intelligence cooperation, but still avoids selling Ukraine the necessary weapons, citing the influence of the Russian Federation in the Middle East and possible anti-Israel measures on the part of Russia in case of cooperation with Ukraine. However, the attempt to remain aside is unlikely to end in success, as the Russian-Ukrainian war is escalating and becoming global.
China also monitors the balance of power. For a long time, the state was considered an actor supporting the existing world order, which allowed it to become a global player. However, in recent years, the rhetoric of the Chinese leadership regarding Taiwan has become more militant, and the position regarding Russian aggression is ambiguous. If the US and its partner countries are unable to stop Russia in Europe, it is likely that Iran and the PRC will try to take advantage of the opportunity and expand their influence in their regions, including through military means.
Iran must be punished for its participation in the Russian genocide of Ukrainians. All potential members of the anti-Western coalition must understand that attempts to undermine the positions of the US and partner countries will have the price. As noted by the retired American general Ben Hodges, the task of the United States and its partners is to understand why Iran agreed to provide weapons to Russia under the threat of disruption of the nuclear agreement and the imposition of sanctions. It is quite likely that Russia agreed to support Tehran's nuclear program, although previously Moscow opposed acquisition of nuclear status by Iran. Western intelligence should expose it. And if it is so, sanctions should be extended to the nuclear industry of the Russian Federation, in particular to the Rosatom company. Ben Hodges also noted that it is important to expose the ways of weapons supply and destroy these weapons on their way to Russia. But, in the case of continuing the transportation of drones, there should be explosions at the relevant Iranian factories, and car accidents with people participating in this process, in particular, with Iranian equipment in Crimea.
Ukraine currently does not have the ability to shoot down ballistic missiles. And therefore, it needs air defense and missile defense systems capable of shooting down Iranian missiles and drones. The pressure on the aggressor countries needs to be increased, because with the course of the Russian-Ukrainian war, more and more countries that want to change the existing world order are supporting Russia. The US and NATO partners will not be able to stand aside, as the conflict is expanding and becoming global. After threats from Iran, Saudi Arabia, which refused to limit oil production and help Ukraine's partners, felt its vulnerability. This case should be indicative for states that hope to remain neutral in the Russian-Ukrainian war. The existing world order may be is not pefect, the alternative, however, is a global conflict of democracies and partners against the modern Axis of Evil: the Russian Federation and the states that support it, in particular Belarus, Iran, the DPRK and, potentially, the PRC. More rapid consolidation around the United States and the "Rammstein Coalition" led by them will contribute to the acceleration of the victory over the aggressors, the return to a more stable system of international relations, in which every state has opportunities to develop, while its right to sovereignty, territorial integrity and existence is unquestionable.
1. Іран планує постачати Росії балістичні ракети малої та середньої дальності – WP, 16.10.2022,
2. Олена Рощіна, Росія домовилася про балістичні ракети з Іраном і продумала шлях для них – ГУР, 07.10.2022,
3. КНДР заявила, що запуски ракет були імітацією ударів по США та Південній Кореї, 07.10.2022,
4. Білий дім: Північна Корея таємно доставляє артилерію до Росії, 02.10.2022,