A basic mistake by the Iranian military has helped prove it is breaching UN Security Council resolutions on drones and missiles, says the UK.
A boatload of missiles intercepted by the Royal Navy in the Persian Gulf last year included a drone quadcopter whose hard drive revealed the shipment’s origin.
Iranians go to great lengths to disguise weapons and missiles they smuggle to allies in the region.
They do so to avoid leaving evidence they are breaching UN resolutions, hoping to reduce the risk of further sanctions.
But they had forgotten to erase the drone’s memory drive.
When British boffins at the Ministry of Defence in London decrypted the drive they found the records of 22 test flights carried out at the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace headquarters in Tehran.
The discovery explicitly linked the shipment to Iran. It included surface-to-air missiles armed with warheads and jet engines for land attack cruise missiles, wrapped in cellophane bundles.
The Royal Navy discovered the consignment when it intercepted a high speed motorboat in the open waters of the Persian Gulf in January last year.
A Wildcat helicopter was deployed to use the downwash of its rotor blades to disable the vessel by forcing its crew to take cover below decks.
A Royal Marine boarding party despatched to search the vessel then discovered the horde of lethal missiles.
It is believed the boat was operated by smugglers and bound for Iran’s allies, the Houthis fighting in Yemen.
The minister of state for the Middle East, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, said: “Once again the Iranian regime has been exposed for its reckless proliferation of weapons and destabilising activity in the region.”
Iran is accused of breaching a number of UN Security Council resolutions banning the transfer of drones and missiles to other countries.
Sanctions imposed on Iran will not be lifted while it continues breaching these resolutions.
Iran tried hard to cover up its missile and drone exporting efforts. It removes any trace of the Persian language from the missile parts, some of them reverse engineered from Western components.
But the failure of its scientists to wipe the quadcopter’s internal memory has handed damning evidence to UN inspectors looking for proof Iran is continuing to flout resolutions controlling the export of its lethal arsenal.
© 2023, GDC. © GDC and www.globaldefensecorp.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to www.globaldefensecorp.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.