Nikolai Patrushev, Russia’s Security Council Secretary, has arrived in Iran, state-run media outlet RIA Novosti reported, citing Iran's IRNA news agency. Analysts at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believe the purpose of Patrushev's visit is to discuss the potential purchase of ballistic missiles from Iran.
Patrushev's visit is being widely covered in the Iranian media, ISW noted. Patrushev will reportedly hold a series of talks with officials “on the development of bilateral relations and cooperation between Moscow and Tehran in the international arena.” ISW experts believe this was done “to highlight the deepening cooperation between Moscow and Tehran to an international audience (rather than domestically), as well as to implicitly highlight that a high-ranking Russian official turned to Iran for help in Ukraine.”
Earlier, Iran was forced to admit that it was supplying Russia with drones, but claimed that they had been supplied before the war began. Ukrainian military intelligence proved the claim to be false.
On November 8, Sky News, citing an unnamed source, reported that a Russian military plane secretly delivered €140 million worth of military supplies to Iran in exchange for 160 drones, including 100 units of the Shahed-136 and 6 large Mohajer-6 UAVs. Russia’s delivery included US and British-made weapons seized in Ukraine, including next-generation anti-tank weapons (NLAWs), Javelin anti-tank systems and Stinger man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS).
In October, the Washington Post reported, citing US security officials and their allies, that new Iranian arms shipments to Russia would include surface-to-surface missiles. These will be the first missiles Iran has supplied to Russia – the deal will include the Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar short-range ballistic missiles, which can hit targets at ranges of 300 and 700 km respectively.