by Peter Zeihan on October 20, 2022
Russia’s reliance on Iran for armed drones and missiles is a resounding fall from grace for the one-time defense manufacturing rival to the United States. And a telling indicator of not only just how far the Russians have fallen, but how few reliable friends Moscow has left. It is also a stunning reversal in leverage for Putin, who for decades has used his ability to lean on Tehran (especially when it comes to US-Iranian spats) as a tool against Washington, DC.
Beyond the geopolitical intrigue, the shoddiness of Iranian tech underscores the determination of Russian leadership to inflict as much pain and damage to Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure as possible. Iranian drones are unreliable, loud, and easily shot down. Russia has to overcompensate by sending small swarms all at once to take out their intended targets–many of which are residential areas, train stations, and power infrastructure. Really hard to accidentally target any of these over a half-dozen times…