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    Iran Transfers Largest Ballistic Missile Arsenal to Russia: Impact on Regional Dynamics and Ukraine Conflict

    Iran Sends Largest Ballistic Missile Arsenal in Middle East to Russia - Impact on Ukraine Conflict and Western Response

    Iran has reportedly dispatched hundreds of its potent ballistic missiles to the government of President Vladimir Putin in Russia, as reported by Media. This move deepens the military collaboration between the two U.S. adversaries, marking a significant development in the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East and beyond.

    According to undisclosed senior Iranian military sources cited by Reuters, the transfer of these formidable weapons is poised to bolster Putin’s position in Ukraine, particularly as the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighboring country approaches. This exchange builds upon previously documented arms cooperation between Tehran and Moscow since 2022, notably involving the transfer of Iranian-manufactured Shahed drones, which Russian forces have effectively deployed in Ukraine.

    In January of this year, Iran purportedly delivered a minimum of 400 short-range Fateh-110 ballistic missiles to Russia, with expectations of further escalation in the near future. While Iran refrained from providing comments to Reuters on this matter, Russia has yet to issue an immediate response.

    Behnam ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, emphasized the inevitability of Iran’s transfer of ballistic missiles to Russia, stating,

    “Iranian material support such as drones has kept Putin fighting in Ukraine for much longer than expected. Ballistic missiles will keep him in that fight for longer now.”

    The U.S. Central Command’s 2022 estimation indicated that Iran possessed over 3,000 ballistic missiles in its arsenal. Recent years have witnessed Iran’s advancements and enhancements to its Fateh missile series, encompassing improvements in precision, range, lethality, maneuverability, and survivability. Notably, the Fateh-110 missile boasts an effective range of approximately 300 kilometers and has been utilized in strikes from Iran into various regions, including Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan.

    Political risk consultancy Eurasia Group highlighted Iran’s domestic production capabilities of missiles and their significance in augmenting Russia’s capabilities amidst its endeavors in Ukraine. Moreover, with delays in additional U.S. aid to Ukraine, the Iranian missiles offer Russia supplementary advantages in its strategic pursuits.

    The recent military gains by Russia in the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka underscore a significant setback for Ukraine, with numerous Ukrainian troops feared missing or captured by Russian forces. Concurrently, uncertainties loom over the continuity of U.S. aid for Ukraine, particularly in light of potential shifts in U.S. foreign policy following the 2024 presidential election.

    While Iran stands to benefit economically from its weapons trade with Russia amid stringent sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU, it also anticipates acquiring advanced military hardware in return. Reports indicate a burgeoning agreement for Russia to supply Iran with modern weaponry, including SU-35 jet interceptors, thereby bolstering Iran’s military capabilities amidst escalating tensions with Israel and the U.S.

    The response from Washington may be constrained, as the Biden administration remains cautious about exacerbating tensions in the Middle East. Despite the ability to impose sanctions on Iran’s weapons programs, intercepting the transportation of missiles to Russia along their supply route remains outside the realm of feasible actions, particularly after the expiration of a U.N. arms embargo on Iran in 2023.

    As Iran deepens its ties with Russia amidst ongoing debates in Washington regarding support for Ukraine, the proliferation of Iranian ballistic missiles to Russia represents a significant milestone in the geopolitical landscape, potentially tilting the balance of power in favor of Russia and reshaping regional dynamics.

    Stay updated with insightful analysis and breaking developments from around the globe. Follow us on Google News for comprehensive coverage of world events.

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