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Dissident Organization Alleges Iran has Provided Russia Thousands of Drones

Sorcerers of Death’s Construction

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is a Franco/Albanian-based Iranian political organization devoted to the overthrow of Iran’s militantly theocratic, fundamentalist Muslim government. The coalition comprises numerous Iranian dissident groups, with its principal member being the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI). Both the NCRI and PMOI are looked upon as being led by Massoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam Rajavi.

The NCRI outwardly espouses Western political values the likes of secular government, democratic elections, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, and human rights. However, a report by the RAND (a portmanteau of research and development) Corporation—an American nonprofit global policy think tank created by the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1948 for purpose of providing U.S. Armed Forces research and analysis—alleges the NCRI routinely obfuscates Marxist-Islamic elements and practices gender segregation.

Ergo, the alignment of the NCRI’s stated and actual purposes remains a matter of contention among Western citizens, statesmen, and political scientists.

In November 2022, the NCRI made public a dossier in which it accused the Iranian regime of furnishing Moscow with more than 3,500 drones to be deployed in support of Russian forces operating throughout Ukraine.

According to reports from the PMOI’s social network within the Islamic Republic, "Iran's UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] sale contract to Russia includes various offensive drones, including Shahed-129, Mohajer-6, and suicide drones Shahed-136 and Shahed-131."

The NCRI dossier went on to state: "Tehran has sold more than 3,500 UAVs to Russia. Most of these were made at the factories of the Ministry of Defense, with others produced by the factories of the Iranian Aviation and Space Industries Association (IASIA)."

The NCRI’s allegations, if true, speak to a dramatic increase in the Iranian regime's support of Russian belligerence in Ukraine.

The dossier further contended that some of the UAVs sent to Russia were shipped from the Qadr Airbase of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC’s Quds Force—a branch of the Revolutionary Guard Corps formerly commanded by the late Qassem Soleimani and specializing in unconventional warfare and military intelligence operations—uses the Qadr Airbase and IRGC-affiliated aircraft companies to send weapons to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon."

The U.S. and  E.U. governments recognize Soleimani as a terrorist responsible for the deaths of more than six-hundred American military personnel in the Middle East.

Asked about the NCRI dossier and whether the Biden administration intended to curtail its nuclear deal negotiations with Iran as punishment for Tehran having sold drones to Russia, a U.S. State Department spokesperson equivocated: "We've been warning since July that Iran was planning to sell UAVs to Russia for use against Ukraine.” The State Department spokesperson continued: "In September, Russia transferred UAVs it purchased from Iran into Crimea for use in its war against Ukraine. We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea have been piloting Iranian UAVs and using them to conduct kinetic strikes across Ukraine, including in strikes against Kyiv in recent days. We assess that Iranian military personnel were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations."

The loquacious spokesperson added: "Russia has received dozens of UAVs so far and will likely continue to receive additional shipments in the future. Furthermore, in light of Russia’s ongoing supply shortages, we are concerned that Russia may also seek to acquire advanced conventional weapons from Iran, such as surface-to-surface missiles, that will almost certainly be used to support Russia’s war against Ukraine. We will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to delay, deter, impede, and impose costs on actors involved in such activities."

Critics of the Biden administration’s Iran policy—to include the NCRI—oppose the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the formal name of the Iran nuclear deal) on account of its being economically, militarily, and historically likely to fund terrorism while failing utterly to deter Tehran from developing an atomic bomb.

According to a think tank study published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will pump as much as $275-billion into Iran’s coffers during the deal’s first year, and merely impose a temporary restriction on Tehran’s capability to construct and deploy nuclear weapons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called the NCRI’s dossier and the allegations therein "baseless" and demanded that Ukraine present any evidence supporting the accusations.

FMI: https://dronecenter.bard.edu/irans-drones/


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