“The Iranians use components exclusively of national production for mounting drones”
Today, many political scientists are sure that for the first time in the last half century, Russian-Iranian relations have reached the peak of mutual understanding. Until now, the world media are vigorously discussing unconfirmed officially information about the “deal of the century”. According to this version, Tehran will sell Russia 1,000 strike unmanned aerial vehicles. Vladimir Onishchenko, a veteran of the military intelligence service, retired colonel, spoke about the contacts between Iran and Russia.
Photo: Global Look Press
– For the Russian leadership, the development of ties with Tehran is very important today. First, Iran is our neighbor. Relations with him go back centuries, up to the time of ancient Persia. Iran occupies the most important strategic position in the Persian Gulf, borders on the post-Soviet republics of the Caucasus, and through the Caspian Sea – on Russia itself.
Secondly, Iran, like us, is aimed at combating terrorism. His position in the international arena is firmly anti-American. Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 withdrew from the aggressive CENTO bloc (Central Treaty Organization). In addition to Russia, he is friends with China, India, and a number of Latin American countries.
The ruling regime of Iran does not want to follow in the footsteps of Washington's globalist policy. Therefore, in the plans of the Pentagon and Israel, he has long been sentenced to destruction. And the tough pro-Iranian position of Russia prevents this from being fulfilled. This is an insurmountable barrier for the globalists. Iran and our country have also been united by the sharply increased mutual military activity, especially after the war on terrorism in Syria. Iran is intensively developing its military industry. This cools the “hotheads” in Washington, US allies in the West, the most implacable “hawks” in Israel and the reactionary Arab regimes in the Persian Gulf, led by Saudi Arabia – the age-old opponents of Iran.
– Of course. A few years ago, a significant event took place: we sent S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran. They were primarily designed to protect the nuclear power plant in Bushehr. It was built almost 12 years with the help of Russia. That's it, as an important nuclear facility, Israel wants to destroy. He repeatedly threatened to subject the vital centers of Iran to missile and bomb strikes. The Israelis even came up with a reason for this: allegedly, Iran is secretly creating its own nuclear weapons from the world community.
– In general, there is no confirmation that there was a deal between the Russian Federation and Iran on the transfer of UAVs. Some of my colleagues suggested that in this way the Western intelligence services launched a “duck”. It was necessary to justify the supply of more advanced air defense systems, electronic warfare and air defense systems to the Ukrainian regime to fight Russia.
This version has logic. Such an information war can really affect the course of the current hostilities. At least the “leaked” information about the delivery of a large batch of drones by Iran to Russia is fully in Zelensky's interests. After all, he asks for weapons all over the world and shouts that Russia is mobilizing all international terrorism against Ukraine. Allegedly, we are trying to involve third countries in the special operation, for example, Iran, North Korea, Latin American countries. So the “sensation” with the UAV without any secrecy can be considered a provocation in favor of Kyiv. In short: “Save Ukraine!”
By the way, there are quite a lot of young people in Iran who want to volunteer in the ranks of the LPR-DPR armed forces. The situation is similar in Syria. The Syrian leadership itself has recognized these republics. It is ready to establish diplomatic relations with them, and hence to establish international military cooperation.
And yes, once again I will return to that sensational report two weeks ago from journalistic circles in Lebanon that Iran, within the framework of an already signed contract, has allegedly already supplied 1,000 UAVs of the Shahed-129 or even Shahed-191 type for the needs of the Russian Armed Forces. Neither Tehran nor Moscow has recognized this fact. Unanimous expert opinion says that until at least one drone of these types is shot down on the battlefield in Ukraine, any information about the supply of Iranian drones to Russia can be considered fake.
– The other day there were official reports that an agreement on industrial cooperation between Iran and Russia was signed. We can dramatically increase the number of joint ventures, including military ones. That is, now everything can be “riveted” together: from aircraft parts to spacecraft. Any weapon. Mutual settlements – only in national currencies. The road to the interchange of components, including radio electronics, is also open. So drones in this perspective are a special case. Their production is subject to industrial cooperation.
Our military cooperation with Iran is not a state secret. But what and how much is a secret.
– Undoubtedly, the use of UAVs is the most important factor in modern military operations. This was confirmed by the fighting in Syria and now in Ukraine. True, over the past two decades, the Russian defense complex has paid more attention to the development of high-precision missile systems, especially hypersonic weapons, air defense systems, armored weapons, than to the development of its UAV fleet. Although work was also carried out in this direction.
We have our own drones of the Orion and Okhotnik types, from small reconnaissance to more powerful strike drones. I can confirm that yes, we are exchanging drone technology with our Iranian military colleagues. There are plenty of them in Iran.
– The Iranian drones in question are not representatives of the most modern military technologies. These are some analogues of American and French combat drones. The main thing is that the Iranians use exclusively national-made components for their installation. This significantly reduces the cost of products. This means that it is profitable to buy them, especially in bulk.
According to the characteristics of the Shahed-129 and Shahed-191 UAVs, they are drones of different classes. The 129th drone has a bomb load of several tens of kilograms, it can be in flight for up to one and a half to two hours. And the 191st drone can carry up to 400 kg of ammunition and stay in the air for up to 14 hours. Of course, vehicles of this type could provide significant support to the Russian troops during the NMD in Ukraine.
— Yes, Iran is in the top five international leaders in production, and most importantly, in terms of the quality of electronic unmanned systems. The second advantage is the low cost. The filling of drones for specialists is not a secret. But some technological features and electronic programs are classified information. There are no secrets in those areas of military cooperation where we interact with the Iranians.
– This is a model of a small drone – a fire spotter for detecting targets and fixing the results of rocket and artillery strikes. Flight time “Ababil-2” 40-60 minutes. This is enough to perform tasks within the radius and in the fire zone of many fire systems. For itself, Iran considers such UAVs to be obsolete, therefore, it can transfer their manufacturing technologies to other countries, all the more friendly, such as Tajikistan. US attempts to flirt with Tajikistan are of no particular strategic importance for Iran and Russia. The production of small drones does not count here at all.
— The West is now losing ground from under its feet. With the strengthening of the disengagement on the planet of the forces of peace and war, the unipolar model in the geopolitical arena is being destroyed. The old colonial and neo-colonial powers are shaking like a child.
Under these conditions, the vital and defense potentials of Iran and Russia are only getting stronger. The military power of Iran cannot but alert the age-old enemies of Tehran. It's no joke – 80 million Iran can easily mobilize almost 50 million of its citizens under arms. Therefore, the enemies of Iran have not been plotting any acts of aggression against it for a long time. Any military adventure against Iran is practically doomed to failure. The decisive factor here is not even the fact that the United States and Israel have nuclear weapons. These are the realities of the times.
“Iran has strived and will continue to strive to show its muscles. The Iranian Armed Forces now have excellent means of delivering conventional warheads, including medium and long-range ballistic missiles. Iran regularly launches and tests its missiles, including in space.
Just two weeks ago, the Iranians launched an artificial communications satellite with the help of a Russian rocket. The Western press immediately speculated that this satellite was intended to support the Russian troops in Ukraine. At least none of the parties – neither ours nor Iran – denied this information. Well, military cooperation should serve the purposes of defense.
And, finally, Iran began to increasingly support the idea of joint exercises with our armed forces. How, for example, is the question of the maneuvers of the forces of the fleets of Russia, China and Iran off the coast of Venezuela now being resolved. All sides unanimously consider this a worthy response to the saber-rattling of the US and other NATO countries in the European theater of operations. By the way, fresh news. The Iranian army has begun large-scale military exercises using more than a thousand drones. Dozens of models of the latest reconnaissance and combat vehicles will be involved. The scope of coverage: the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman, “all four corners of the country” and its central part.
– I will proceed from the common position of Iran and Russia on the issues of globalization and polarization of processes in the world. Despite some differences, the geopolitical points of view of Tehran and Moscow are very close or completely coincide.
We believe, firstly, that the further we go, the more sharply and distinctly the division of forces in the world becomes. Iran, for example, seeks active membership in the SCO and the CSTO, where Russia plays a key role.
But there are still many countries on Earth that are dependent on former metropolitan countries, on the same United States. This is clearly seen in the example of the UN. This organization has become practically useless for deciding the fate of peace and war on the planet. This is categorically considered, for example, in Iran.
The vast majority of UN member countries depend in one way or another on the United States and its Western allies. It is precisely on how and when most countries will turn from “fellow travelers” into “allies” of Russia, into our real “partners”, and the fate of peace on Earth will depend. That's when the question of the possibility of unleashing the Third World War will disappear.
– I will give just one example, and everything will become clear. Six years ago I was in the Iranian city of Tabriz and talked to the local old people. Many of them are already under 90 years old and more.
So, they perfectly remember the events of 1941-1942. Hitler's Nazis at that time had a great influence on official Tehran. The USSR and Great Britain then forced to send troops to the territory of Iran. Otherwise, the German Nazis could pull the Middle East region to their side. So, the Iranian old people remember the Russian soldier with gratitude and warmth. Our field kitchens, fragrant soldier's porridge and the sincere attitude of Russian soldiers to the local population – this is engraved in their memory, which is still fresh.