Russia has secured an agreement with Iran to begin building hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles on Russian soil, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing American and other Western intelligence sources.

According to the report, Russian and Iranian officials sealed the agreement during a meeting in Iran in early November.

The report cited three sources as stating that Russia and Iran are moving quickly to transmit designs and critical components for the production of Iranian-designed UAVs on Russian soil, which could begin within months.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment, according to the Washington Post.

On Nov. 15, the United States imposed penalties on firms and individuals involved in the development or transfer of Iranian drones used by Russia in strikes on civilian facilities in Ukraine, according to Reuters.

The United States is attempting to put further pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, which has left cities in ruins and killed or injured hundreds.

Russia obtained multiple types of attack and intelligence drones from Iran, which were used to target Ukrainian cities and critical energy infrastructure sites. These include the Shahed 136 suicide drone, which can carry an explosive warhead of 40 kilograms, and which maneuvers to targets using satellite navigation.

Iranian military groups and companies are already subject to severe American sanctions as a result of Tehran’s nuclear development program.

JNS

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