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UK minister, Iran made big mistake in giving drones to Russia for Ukraine war

With their deadly use, Iranian drones also reveal their weaknesses and Tehran may not get much in return, senior UK official says.

UAV drill begins in Iran

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) drill held by Iranian army in Semnan, Iran on January 5, 2021. (Photo by Iranian Army/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

DUBAI — Amid high-level concern over Iran’s decision to supply Russia with deadly suicide drones for the fight in Ukraine, a senior British defense official told Breaking Defense he believes Tehran made a “big mistake” because it’s also an opportunity for Western powers to uncover vulnerabilities in the Iranian systems. He also cast doubt on the effectiveness of any Russian technology that may be transferred to Iran in return.

“Russia’s extensive use of Iranian drones” has enabled the Ukrainians and their Western allies “to detect the weaknesses within the Iranian technology and provide effective solutions to counter them,” UK Minister of State for Armed Forces James Heappy said on Dec. 21.

Russia has used the Iranian drones extensively in targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, especially the country’s power grid. Heappy said he regarded the recent increased rates of success by the Ukrainian air defense in shooting down the Iranian drones, reportedly the Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 models, as evidence of the Iranian drones becoming compromised and losing their edge

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