Iran has denied supplying Russia with cheap kamikaze drones that have targeted Ukraine for weeks


  • The Iranian weapons are loaded on cargo ships crossing the Caspian Sea
  • The most recent shipment carried 2,000 artillery shells from Iran to Russia
  • The shipments are made by a Russian company previously sanctioned by the United States

Iran has shipped at least one million rounds of ammunition and hundreds of thousands of artillery shells to Russia to use in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to a report.

Over the past six months, Russian cargo ships have ferried one million rounds of ammunition and 300,000 artillery shells from Iran to Russia across the Caspian Sea, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing intelligence records shared with the U.S. and viewed by the outlet.

The most recent shipment of Iranian weapons occurred on March 8. That shipment was loaded onto the Rasul Gamzatov, a 460-foot-long Russian cargo ship. The ship was believed to have carried 1,000 containers with over 2,000 artillery shells, officials told the outlet.

The ship left the Iranian port of Bandar Amirabad and arrived in Astrakhan, Russia, on March 14. It returned to Iran later that month and set sail again for Russia a day after docking in Iran.

The Rasul Gamzatov is owned by Russian company MG-FLOT, previously known as TransMorFlot LLC. The company changed its name in 2022 after it was sanctioned by the United States for using 16 of its vessels to transport weapons for Russia.

Reports of Iran's shipments to Russia come months after the U.S. sanctioned the country's aviation and defense sector for providing Kamikaze drones to Moscow for use in the war. Iran initially denied the transfer of UAVs to Russia but later acknowledged that the drones were sent months before the war began.

Despite the sanctions, Iran has continued smuggling drones into Russia using navy boats and airplanes. Russia, in turn, has been using its supply of Iranian-made drones to target Ukrainian cities. The most recent attack targeted the capital city of Kyiv, per a recent assessment from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Prior to the recent shipments, Iran and Russia last year made an agreement to allow Moscow to manufacture kamikaze drones designed by Iran on Russian soil. The agreement reportedly included transferring the design and key components of the drones from Tehran to Moscow to allow the manufacturing of drones.

An Iranian army picture released in August 2022 shows the launch of a  drone during drill at an undisclosed location in Iran