Russia seizes Western weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine and sends them to Iran. According to the United States, Tehran is trying to redesign these trophies.
Four sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
According to the sources, there are several cases when the Russian military seized Western weapons, in particular, Javelin anti-tank missile systems and Stinger anti-aircraft missile systems on the battlefield.
In many cases, equipment captured by Russia is disassembled and analyzed in Iran. Presumably, Iran is trying to create its own version of such a weapon. According to CNN interlocutors, Russia believes that the supply of trophies to Iran encourages Tehran to support Russiaʼs war in Ukraine.
However, the US officials do not believe the problem is widespread or systematic. Since the beginning of the war, the Defense Forces of Ukraine have been informing the Pentagon about the loss of equipment provided by the United States. However, the States admit that all cases are difficult to trace.
Whether Iran has successfully reengineered any American weapons captured in Ukraine is unknown.
- In the 1970s, Iran created the Toophan anti-tank guided missile based on the American BGM-71 TOW missile. Currently, it is a key element in Iranʼs arsenal.
- In 2011, the Iranians also intercepted an American Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel drone and redesigned it.