Russia is considering sending fighter jets to Iran as part of an expanding military cooperation that has seen Tehran ship growing quantities of weaponry to Moscow for use in the invasion of Ukraine, the White House said Friday.
“We believe that Russia might provide Iran unprecedented defense cooperation, including on missiles, electronics and air defense. We believe that Russia might provide Iran with fighter jets,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
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Kirby said Iran, which is deeply isolated by Western sanctions aimed at halting its disputed nuclear program, was seeking to bolster its military with Russian help in exchange for sending armaments used in the year-long onslaught against Ukraine.
“Iran is also seeking to purchase additional military equipment from Russia, including attack helicopters, radars and combat training aircraft. In total, Iran are seeking billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment,” Kirby said.
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“We were concerned it was going to go both ways, and those concerns are certainly being realized,” he said.
According to Kirby, Iran has already sent hundreds of drones, as well as artillery and tank ammunition, to Russia and “Iran’s support for Russia’s war has expanded.”