Iran supplies Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles. Six sources told Reuters. The agency notes that, in this way, Tehran is deepening military cooperation between the two US-sanctioned countries.

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The roughly 400 missiles provided by Iran include many of the Fateh-110 type, short-range ballistic weapons such as the Zolfagar, three Iranian sources said. This missile, which can be transported from a mobile installation, is capable of hitting targets at a distance of between 300 to 700 km, experts say.

Iran's Defense Ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the elite forces that oversee Iran's ballistic missile program, declined to comment. Russia's Defense Ministry also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deliveries began in early January after a deal was struck at meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian defense and security officials held in Tehran and Moscow, one of the Iranian sources said, quoted by BTA.

ISW: Foreign partners are increasing the armament of Russia and Ukraine

An Iranian military official, who, like the other sources, asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information, said there had been at least four deliveries and that there would be more in the coming weeks. He declined to give further details.

Another senior Iranian official said some of the missiles were sent to Russia by ship across the Caspian Sea, while others were transported by plane.

"There will be more shipments," the second Iranian official said, adding: "There is no reason to hide them. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that wants."

UN Security Council restrictions on Iran's exports of certain missiles, drones and other technology expired in October. However, the US and European Union have maintained sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program amid concerns about arms exports to its Middle East proxies and to Russia.

A fourth source familiar with the matter confirmed that Russia had received a large number of missiles from Iran, without elaborating.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said in early January that the US was concerned that Russia was close to acquiring short-range ballistic weapons from Iran, in addition to the missiles already supplied to it by North Korea. . A US official said Washington had seen evidence of active progress in talks, but there was no indication yet that any deliveries had been made. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

On Friday, Ukraine's chief prosecutor said ballistic missiles supplied by North Korea to Russia had proved unreliable on the battlefield, with only two of a total of 24 hitting their targets.

Both Moscow and Pyongyang deny that North Korea supplied Russia with ammunition used in Ukraine.

However, expert Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey said that the Fateh-110 and Zolfagar missiles are much more precise weapons that can inflict serious damage.

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