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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Mossad fears Russian weapons transfers to Iran

Israel’s intelligence chief says the potential cooperation with Tehran would pose a threat the country

The head of Israel’s chief intelligence agency has expressed concern that Russia could provide advanced munitions and raw materials to Iran, putting Israeli national security at risk.

Speaking at an annual conference at the Institute of Counter-Terrorism Policy at Reichman University in Herzliya on Sunday, Mossad Director David Barnea claimed that Tehran supplied Moscow with kamikaze drones after the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict broke out in February 2022.

Read more: US is cautioned by Mossad chief

“Our fear is that the Russians will transfer to the Iranians in return what they lack, advanced weapons that will certainly endanger our peace, and maybe even our existence here,” Barnea said, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Barnea accused Tehran of using “proxy teams” to attack Jews in Israel and abroad, warning that the Islamic Republic is seeking ways to procure new missile technology and more powerful drones.

Ukraine and NATO members have accused Russia of using Iranian UAVs, most notably the Shahed-136, to strike Ukrainian cities. Moscow insists that it has only used domestically produced weapons.

Read more: Iran still engaged on its nuclear programme, says ex-Mossad chief

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in November 2022 that Tehran delivered “a limited number” of drones to Russia, but months before Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine.