Putin set to visit Iran next week – WSB-TV Channel 2

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MOSCOW — (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Iran next week, the Kremlin announced Tuesday, a day after the United States warned Tehran could provide Moscow with drones for its action in Ukraine.

On a trip to Tehran next Tuesday, Putin will take part in a trilateral meeting with Iranian and Turkish leaders, the so-called Astana format of meetings for Syria-related talks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. .

Putin’s visit to Iran will follow US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia this week, where Iran’s nuclear program and malign activities in the region will be a key talking point.

Peskov told reporters that during the visit to Tehran, Putin will also have a separate meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In March, Erdogan helped mediate talks between Russian and Ukrainian representatives in Istanbul, Turkey. Peskov said there was no discussion of a new round of such talks.

The White House said Monday it believes Russia is looking to Iran to provide it with “hundreds” of drones, including those capable of carrying weapons, for use in Ukraine.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it was unclear if Iran had already supplied any of the vehicles to Russia, but said the United States had “information indicating that Iran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them as early as this month.

“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to supply Russia with up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable drones on an expedited schedule,” Sullivan told reporters on Monday, referring to the drones as l. acronym for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Iranian Foreign Minister Nasser Kanaani’s spokesman did not deny the US claim in comments on Tuesday.

“Iran’s cooperation with Russia in some sophisticated technologies predates the Russian-Ukrainian war,” he said. “There has been no particular development in this regard recently.”

Iran has a long history of working on drone development, including the so-called stray munitions, “kamikaze” drones like the Switchblade that the United States delivered to Ukraine.

The US decision to publicly reveal that the two countries’ main regional rival was helping to rearm Russia comes as Israel and Saudi Arabia have resisted global efforts to punish Russia for its action in Ukraine over their national interests.

In Tehran, Mohammadrez Pourebrahimi, the head of the Iranian parliament’s economic committee, told the official IRNA news agency that Putin’s trip would aim to improve economic relations between the two sanctions-hit countries.

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Zeke Miller and Josh Boak in Washington and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran contributed to this report.

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