August 17, 2022
While Russia is holding joint military exercises with Iran’s Revolutionary guard and other Moscow allies in central Iran, Venezuela is also hosting sniper military exercises with these countries.
Both of these joint military drills, which started on Monday, August 15, are being held in Iran and Venezuela within the framework of Russia’s 2022 International Military Exercises, which was initiated by Moscow. Venezuela has been hosting the “Sniper Frontiers.”
“The goal, the spirit of these games is to unite cultures and peoples more” than to demonstrate military skills, said Venezuelan Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, adding that a delegation of 200 Venezuelan soldiers has also been sent to Russia to participate in other events of these games.
The annual event was launched in 2015 at the initiative of Russia, and about 30 countries including China, Iran, India, Cuba, and Myanmar have participated in the maneuvers.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard also confirmed on Monday that it is holding joint drone exercises with Russia at the Kashan Air Base, adding that Belarus and Armenia are also partaking in the international UAV competitions.
Russia and Iran have expanded their strategic partnership since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Senior Russian and Iranian officials have met frequently in recent months to boost cooperation and sign economic and military agreements.
US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel reiterated on August 10 that Russian officials have undergone training in Iran in recent weeks as part of an agreement on the transfer of drones from the Islamic Republic.
An advisor to the Ukrainian President’s Office, Oleksiy Arestovych, said earlier in the month that Russia is using Iranian-provided military drones in its invasion of Ukraine, noting that Iran handed 46 drones over to Russia and that the Ukrainian government has already confirmed the use of these drones in combat in Ukraine.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned twice in July that Moscow appears to be looking at buying Iranian drones and Russian officers even visited a drone base in Iran’s Kashan to review their options.