A British newspaper has claimed that Iranian networks are working to smuggle weapons from Iraq into Russia, while Russia’s plan to launch an immediate attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and overthrow the government has failed.
According to a report in the British newspaper Guardian, the weapons being transferred to Russia include Iran’s Bevar 373 missile system.
The report states that Al-Hashd al-Shabi, a group of Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, allegedly sent the Brazilian-designed Astro II rocket launcher system to Iran in various parts on April 1.
Al-Hashd al-Shabi sent rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles to Iran through the Salamja border crossing on March 26. The report quoted a commander of the Iranian-backed militia as saying that the Iranian military had shipped the weapons from there to Russia.
A source close to al-Hashd told the Guardian that “we don’t care where the heavy weapons go because we don’t need them at the moment and the anti-American party pays them well.”
Russia is facing various economic sanctions from the United States and Europe over the Ukraine invasion. The sanctions target Russian banks, the elite, President Vladimir Putin’s family and the arms industry. It is alleged that the ambassador provided the information to Russia.
Although the United States has warned other countries, particularly China, against shielding Russia from the effects of sanctions or helping it acquire weapons, US officials have not heeded reports of arms smuggling from Iran. The Pentagon has not yet commented on the report.