The United States has urged Iran to cease its sale of armed drones to Russia, a move that comes as Moscow employs these drones in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Sources familiar with the situation revealed that discussions between Washington and Tehran have encompassed this issue, as reported by the Financial Times on Wednesday.
“According to the report, the United States is specifically pressuring Iran to discontinue the provision of both armed drones and essential spare parts to Russia”.
An unnamed Iranian official and another source knowledgeable about the negotiations disclosed this information. Neither the White House nor Iran’s foreign ministry responded to Reuters’ inquiries for comment.
The timing of this development aligns with the ongoing efforts between the United States and Iran to ease hostilities and revive comprehensive discussions concerning Iran’s nuclear program. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his openness to any steps taken by Iran to mitigate its perceived “growing nuclear threat.”
The discussions surrounding the drone sales transpired concurrently with negotiations for a potential prisoner exchange agreement. Last week, Iran permitted four detained American citizens to transition from incarceration at Tehran’s Evin prison to house arrest, while a fifth individual was already confined to home detention.
“In a related development, sources disclosed to Reuters last week that Iran is contemplating the release of five detained US citizens as part of a larger agreement aimed at unfreezing approximately $6 billion in Iranian assets situated in South Korea”.