Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Iran next week amid reports that Tehran could supply weapons-capable drones to Russia to use in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s trip will come after President Joe Biden lands in Israel and Saudi Arabia this week where Iran’s nuclear program and its other actions in the region will be a hot topic of discussion.
The Russian leader will attend a trilateral meeting with leaders of Iran and Turkey involving Syrian-related talks, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.
While in Tehran, Putin will meet with Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan, who in March attempted mediation between Russian and Ukrainian reps in Istanbul.
Peskov said a new round of talks has been discussed.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday that officials had “information” that Iran was preparing to train Russian forces to use drones as soon as this month, including those that could carry weapons. He said it wasn’t clear if the drones, possibly in the hundreds, were already delivered.
An Iranian Foreign Minister spokesperson did not deny the claims Tuesday.
“Iran’s cooperation with Russia in some sophisticated technologies dates to before the Russia-Ukraine war,” said spokesperson Nasser Kanaani. “There has not been any special development in this regard recently.”
Mohammadrez Pourebrahimi, the head of Iranian Parliament’s economic committee, told state-run media Putin’s visit was to improve economic relations between the two nations which have both been hit by sanctions.
Late last month, Putin made his first known trip out of Russia since he sent soldiers into Ukraine in February when he traveled to two small former Soviet states in Central Asia.
With Post wires