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China Reported to Have Placed Order for 15,000 UAVs from Iran, Deliveries Underway

I got the following info on Chinese website:

The media Al Monitor reported the so-called "China's import of Iranian drones". Although the media claims to report "fair and objective Middle East news", it is actually a Persian-language media headquartered in Washington, USA. The earliest source of this news was reported by a media headquartered in London, England, called "Iran International Television" that has nothing to do with Iran.

The Middle East Monitor that also reported is also located in London, UK.

Does this smells fishy ?

The report definitely originates in local Iranian media, such as Mashregh News which I shared in the OP. Mashregh is known for its focus on military and security topics, where it tends to have better proficiency than the average Iranian outlet. This should be verifiable too, from the respective publication dates.

Al-Monitor for its part is an English-language publication.

s for Iran International, this is indeed a London-based, Saudi-funded network publishing propaganda around the clock against the Iranian government in Persian. It too mentioned the story, but only after the Iran-based Mashregh had broken it. In essence Iran International (we call it Saudi International) was citing Mashregh, so was Al-Monitor.

Mashregh will not quote foreign media let alone downright hostile ones on a topic like this (and that too without naming them).
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My friend..It is simple "economics 101"..No one is claiming that China needs these drones for her own use..China has a very advanced Drone tech of her own.

China Buys drones from Iran and sells the drone to any one who wants that drone (apparently the are many who want these Drones but can not buy direct from Iran).. China being a true economics power house makes a good profit..Iran is happy to sell her drone and the customer is now happy to have his drone with no US sanctions imposed on them..ALL are HAPPY..WIN_WIN_WIN for all three.

Another hypothesis has crossed my mind: Korea. Could China be purchasing those for its Korean ally?
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Another hypothesis has crossed my mind: Korea. Could it be China purchasing those for its Korean ally?
North Korea can buy directly from Iran if it wants, NK is already under Western sanctions, it has nothing to fear from the West. Also, I doubt that NK needs such large scale of UAVs.
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Iranian drones proved its tech and efficiency in the ongoing Ukraine wars, kudos to Persian engineers and scientist. I have the privilege to work with some brilliant Iranian scientists here in US.
North Korea can buy directly from Iran if it wants, NK is already under Western sanctions, it has nothing to fear from the West.

This is correct from Korea's perspective. There's a second factor involved though: illegitimate UN sanctions are prohibiting the export of weapons to Korea. Thanks to Trump ripping up the JCPOA, UN sanctions on Iran however have not been reinstated.

Now one may argue that they would hardly increase the already enormous economic pressure on Iran, given that Washington is applying its unilateral sanctions in an extra-territorial manner (coercing third parties into compliance). Nonetheless, UN sanctions would lead to greater risks of military escalation because Iranian cargo vessels or vessels carrying Iranian-produced merchandise could then be legally stopped for inspection by any party anywhere. And Iran would then be obliged to retaliate.

Also, I doubt that NK needs such large scale of UAVs.

I think they'd equip Korea with an additional powerful and cost-effective layer of conventional firepower. Very practical for multi-pronged saturation attacks, making interception by the opposing side all the more complicated. Pyongyang is known to be relying on numbers in order to field overwhelming firepower in case of a war against Seoul. This is visible for instance in the reported volume of Korea's arsenal of artillery pieces. Imagine the headache for Seoul or even Japan if they had to face wave upon wave of incoming kamikaze drones, on top of Korean missiles etc.
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No offense to the Iranian members here but I find this news a bit ludicrous. I think both sides are a bit emotional right now, so let’s break it down in a logical fashion.

For the drone itself:
The fuselage — similar to Harpy, which China a has acquired in the 90s.
Motor — MD-550 engine, which based on Limbach, now a Chinese company.
Electronics — off the shelf components by Western firms or domestic replicas, which are available in exponentially larger quantities in China.
Economy of scale — don’t make me laugh.

Performance wise, while the 136 series helped turn the tide for Russia, individually did it really perform any more impressively than the Mugin-5? Both are slow, loud, fly low and are difficult to spot on radar. But Mugin-5 is similarly battle tested, scoring direct hits on the Black Sea Fleet head quarters despite efforts by air defense to down them. Cost wise the Mugin 5 is even cheaper, with the fuselage at 9500 USD and the whole package probably under 20K USD. You don’t see PLA going on a massive shopping spree on Aliexpress do you?

Of course there is the argument that Russia has acquired large numbers of Iranian suicide/attack drones so it isn’t impossible for China. Let’s analyze the situation here. I think there are three reasons that Russia went for it.

1) Iranian drones are very effective weapons and more importantly, very cost effective guided munition. This allows the Russians to launch precision strikes without depleting guided munitions stock.
2) Russia has not focused on developing their drone industry.
3) The Russians are in the middle of a war and need as many weapons as possible.

Points 2 and 3 do not apply to China at all, and I can make a case that China has a much larger stockpile of guided weapons. The situation for Russian import of Iranian drones doesn’t really apply to China.
Defiantly not Chinese gov. Most logical explanation: Russian buyer that paid in Yuan.

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