November 3, 2022 Russia Ukraine news

A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it opened fire on buildings in Kiev, Ukraine on October 17. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

NATO’s secretary general on Thursday condemned any coordination between Iran and Russia by Moscow on weapons for the Ukraine war.

“We also see Iran offering drones and considering sending ballistic missiles to Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference.

“This is unacceptable. No country should support Moscow in this illegal war,” he said.

Iran is preparing to send an estimated 1,000 additional weapons to Russia, including short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and more attack drones, officials in a Western country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program told CNN on Tuesday.

The delivery is being closely monitored because it would be the first case of Iran sending advanced precision-guided missiles to Russia, which could give the Kremlin a big boost on the battlefield.

The latest weapons shipment from Iran to Russia included about 450 drones, which officials said the Russians have already used to deadly effect in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said last week that they had shot down more than 300 Iranian drones.

What Tehran says: The Iranian government has repeatedly denied sending weapons to Russia.

Last month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran “does not and will not” provide weapons for use in the war in Ukraine.

More context: Drones have played a major role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Their use has increased since the summer, when the US and Kiev said Moscow had bought drones from Iran. In recent weeks, these Iranian drones have been used to target critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.