Iran is reportedly in secret discussions with China and Russia to obtain ammonium perchlorate, a key chemical used to fuel ballistic missiles.
Iran is reportedly in secret talks with China and Russia to obtain a crucial chemical compound used in ballistic missiles, according to diplomats familiar with the matter, violating United Nations sanctions.
The move could allow Russia to replenish its depleted stock of rockets by acquiring Iranian-made missiles.
Politico reported that Iran is in discussions with government-controlled entities from both countries to acquire large amounts of ammonium perchlorate, the main chemical component used in solid propellants to power missiles.
The exact quantity of ammonium perchlorate that Tehran wants to acquire is unclear. The diplomats however estimate it would be enough to build thousands of rockets, including the Zolfaghar missile which has a range of 700 kilometres and has been used by both Iran and its proxy militias in the Middle East.
If the deal is successful, some of those rockets may be sent to Russia to target Ukraine, the diplomats said. Iran has previously supplied Russia with expertise and drones used to attack targets in Ukraine.
Russia’s relentless attacks on Ukraine have largely depleted its stock of weapons. Iran has provided some military aid, and the acquisition of the ammonium perchlorate could allow Tehran to send more substantial weaponry to Moscow.
Though China and Russia are allies on the international stage, Beijing has not openly declared its support for its northern neighbour’s invasion of Ukraine or sent it any major military help, in part because this would risk angering its main trade partners in the US and Europe.
The New Arab has reached out to the Iranian foreign ministry and the Russian and Chinese embassies in London for comment.