If the 16-page document from September 14, 2022 is genuine, it shows the sale of artillery, grenades and rockets worth one million dollars. This corresponds to NOK 11 million.
Sky News has not been able to verify the authenticity of the documents, but several sources claim they are most likely genuine.
– This is a contract between the Iranians and the Russians regarding ammunition. We believe it is 100 percent authentic, says the security source to Sky News.
Tormod Heier, professor at the Norwegian Armed Forces Staff School, believes that cooperation between the two countries has been strengthened recently.
– Russia has become a close ally of Iran in terms of warfare in Syria, where both sides are fighting on the side of the government. This cooperation also contributes to strengthening Russia’s position in the Middle East, says Heier.
Heier has looked at the documents and believes there are many indications that they are genuine.
– The documents are poorly worded and contain several typographical errors. There are many indications that this is a rush job. A desperate attempt, he says.
Heier says that Russia is unable to adapt to the need for ammunition.
Desperate for weapons
Lieutenant Colonel Geir Hågen Karlsen has also looked at the documents.
– It is no surprise that Iran supports Russia now. They are probably the biggest source of weapons. This is a growing weapons cooperation, Karlsen notes.
The Russian embassy and the Iranian embassy in the UK did not respond to requests for comment on the Sky News allegations.
Both Iran and Russia have until now denied weapons cooperation.
The source who shared the document with Sky News also shared a five-page contract detailing the sale of new gun barrels for Russian-made T-72 tanks. That sale has a value of approximately NOK eight million.
– Pipes until tanks are worn out in such a war. They must be replaced regularly because they are exposed to an explosion every time they are used. Russia hardly has the capacity to produce all of this itself, says Karlsen.
– The West lacks weapons
Most of the weapon systems the Ukrainians are actively using today, they have received from the West, including Norway.
For these weapon systems, Ukraine needs ammunition.
– This is a major war, and an enormous amount of weapons are used. If Ukraine is to win this war, the West must produce even more weapons than the other side, explains Karlsen.
Karlsen believes it will take time to produce enough weapons to supply both the West and Ukraine.
– It is a big challenge to produce enough weapons. We have given away much of what we already had in stock, and must both fill our stocks and support Ukraine at the same time. It can take time, says Karlsen.
– It is quite clear that the party with the most and best weapons will win this war, he adds.
Has sold killer drones to Russia
US National Security Adviser John Kirby said in mid-May that he was concerned about defense cooperation between Iran and Russia.
– Iran has supplied Russia with over 400 attack drones since August last year, said John Kirby.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has previously stated that the country has shot down more than 200 Iranian-made drones, thereby averting several attacks.
The EU also believes there is enough evidence of Iranian drone supply, and has introduced sanctions against Iran.
Want to conquer Ukraine on the battlefield
Tormod Heier believes that the precision on the Russian side is poor and that the Russians must buy more ammunition to knock out the targets.
– This is especially so since Ukraine has received more Western arms support. To overcome this technological superiority, they must compensate with ammunition, Heier believes.
He believes the documents Sky News has gained access to are a clear sign of improvisation, and that the arms support scares the Russians.
– The war requires higher artillery consumption than Russia was prepared for, says Heier.
The sanctions from the West have created a shortage of equipment for the Russians. It has also forced the leadership in Moscow to replace the components with other, lower quality alternatives.
– We know that Russian advanced weapons have been built with a lot of Western components. Now they have to redesign their own systems, and have used bad electronics from, for example, refrigerators and other electronic components, says Lieutenant Colonel Karlsen.
– Seen from our eyes, it is good that Russia lacks weapons, concludes Karlsen.