Listen to this article Exchange Program: Russia Offers Military Aid to Iran in Exchange for Help with Advanced Missile Program
The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, has stated that Russia is likely offering a exchange program Iran assistance with its advanced missile program in exchange for military aid in the war in Ukraine. He made these comments during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Burns explained that Iran had already provided weapons to Russia that were used in Ukraine, including incidents where civilian infrastructure was targeted. This relationship between the two countries now appears to be developing further.
Russia’s Offer to Iran
According to Burns, Russia is proposing to help Iran with its missile program, which includes long-range and ballistic missiles. Russia is also considering providing fighter aircraft to Iran. Burns noted that this move by Russia is likely in exchange for military aid to support its actions in the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The US has concerns about Iran’s missile program and has attempted to limit its progress through sanctions. However, in 2019, the US acknowledged that Iran had built the largest missile force in the Middle East. Burns stated that Iran’s collaboration with Russia in this area is concerning and is “moving at a pretty fast clip in a very dangerous direction right now.”
Collaboration in Ukraine
Iran and Russia are collaborating in Ukraine, using armed drones to inflict pain on Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. Burns revealed that Iran has already provided Russia with hundreds of these armed drones. Russia has also started using Iran-made “kamikaze” drones that explode when they crash into their targets. This new tactic has targeted power distribution and other critical infrastructure far from the front lines.
Russia has turned to isolated nations for support as it faces global backlash and sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. Iran is one of these nations, alongside North Korea, according to the White House. The US and NATO have also stated that they see evidence that China may be planning to provide Russia with weapons.
Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment Program
Finally, Burns also discussed Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, which he described as more advanced than previously known. He explained that Iran has advanced far enough to enrich uranium to 90%, if it chose to do so. The US believes that Iran has not resumed its efforts to make nuclear weapons, which it stopped in 2003, but it is still advancing its ability to enrich uranium, which could be used to make nuclear weapons if Iran chose to do so.