JEDDAH: Iran is planning renewed attacks on Gulf states as well as seeking to expand the supply of advanced weapons to Russia, Israel’s spy chief warned on Friday.
David Barnea, head of the Mossad intelligence agency, also said the Tehran regime was driving its nuclear program forward at an unprecedented rate.
“We warn against Iran’s future intentions, which they are trying to keep secret, to deepen and expand the supply of advanced weapons to Russia, to expand the uranium enrichment project and to intensify their attacks against friendly Muslim countries in the region,” Barnea said.
The spy chief described the Iranian regime as “brazen,” and said: “As one arm sends Iranian diplomats to Vienna for negotiations, the other arm sends Iranian terrorists to kill innocents across the world.”
Saudi Arabia blames Iran for a major attack on oil infrastructure in the east of the Kingdom in 2019, using the same armed drones now being deployed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Kingdom has also been hit repeatedly in recent years by drones, missiles and mortars launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen. The Houthis also attacked Abu Dhabi with drones in January this year.
The US has expressed alarm over a “full-scale defense partnership” between Tehran and Moscow, which invaded Ukraine last February. Tehran has admitted it had sent drones to Russia, but insisted they were supplied before the invasion.
Earlier this month Washington described an extensive relationship between Iran and Russia involving equipment such as helicopters and fighter jets as well as drones, which led to new US sanctions.
Moscow’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia told the Security Council that Russia’s military industrial complex “doesn't need anyone’s assistance” and said the drone allegations had been rebutted several times.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the Tehran regime, after more than three months of civilian protests, was “striking sordid deals” with Moscow “in a desperate attempt to survive.”
Iranian-manufactured drones supplied to Russia have played a "central role" in attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, Britain’s Foreign Office said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said it would not “seek permission from anyone” to expand relations with Russia.“Cooperation between Iran and Russia in various fields including defense is expanding within the framework of common interests ... and is not against any third country,” ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.