Jake Sullivan

Jake Sullivan

The White House on Monday said that it has information indicating that Russia is turning to Iran to provide it with hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles, including weapons-capable drones, for use in its ongoing war in Ukraine, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

Jake Sullivan, President Biden's national security adviser, told reporters that the Iranians are preparing to train Russian forces to use the unmanned aerial vehicles "as early as this month." It’s unclear though if any have been delivered to the Russians already.

“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” Sullivan said.

According to the White House assessment, it's proof that Russia’s overwhelming bombardments in Ukraine, which have led it to consolidate gains in the country’s east in recent weeks, was “coming at a cost to the sustainment of its own weapons.”

An example of these costs, Sullivan said, is that “information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred (unmanned aerial vehicles), including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline.”

Sullivan’s assertion came just a day before President Biden’s trip to the Middle East, where Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region will be a key subject of discussion. Biden leaves tonight on his first visit as president to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

According to U.S. assessment, Tehran has provided similar unmanned aerial vehicles to Yemen’s Houthi rebels to attack Saudi Arabia before a ceasefire was reached earlier this year.

During his trip to the Middle East, Biden will also make the case for greater oil production from OPEC nations to bring down gasoline prices, which have surged in the wake of sanctions on Russian oil and gas, when he meets Gulf leaders in Saudi Arabia this week, Sullivan said.

According to him, members of the OPEC have the capacity to take 'further steps' to increase oil production despite suggestions from Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they can barely do this.

“We will convey our general view…that we believe that there needs to be adequate supply in the global market to protect the global economy and to protect the American consumer at the pump,” Sullivan added

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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