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UK says Russia is trying to get ballistic missiles from Iran

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Russia is seeking to obtain more weapons from Iran, including hundreds of ballistic missiles, and in return offering Tehran an unprecedented level of military and technical support, Britain’s ambassador to the UN said on Friday, Barbara Woodward.

He also claimed that Iran had transferred hundreds of drones to Russia since August, which had used them to “kill civilians and illegally attack civilian infrastructure” in Ukraine.

Iran denies supplying the drones to Moscow and Russia has said forces have not used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.

“Russia is now trying to get more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles,” Woodward told reporters. “In return, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support. We are concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, which will allow it to bolster its weapons capability.”

The Iranian and Russian UN missions did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Iran has promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, as well as more drones, two senior officials and two diplomats, all of them Iranian, told Reuters in October.

The United States said on Wednesday that it had verified the continued supply of Iranian drones to Russia, but that Washington had seen no evidence that Iran had transferred ballistic missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine.

Woodward added that London is “almost certain that Russia is trying to source weapons from North Korea (and) other heavily sanctioned states, as their surplus palpably dwindles.” (Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Doina Chiacu; editing in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)

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