Iran’s Foreign Ministry vowed a ‘proportional’ response in reaction to Ukraine’s move in downgrading diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
It was this Saturday that the Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanaani, reacted to Ukraine’s slashing ties with Iran over alleged drone supply to Russia.
“Iran is planning a proportional action in response to Ukraine’s decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with us over the reported supply of Iranian drones to Russia,” Kanaani said.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson also noted that Ukraine should “refrain from being influenced by third parties who seek to destroy relations between the two countries”, and that Ukraine’s decision was “based on unconfirmed reports and resulted from a media hype by foreign parties”.
Ukraine announced this past Friday that it would downgrade diplomatic ties with Iran over Tehran’s decision to supply Russian forces with drones, a move President Volodymyr Zelensky called “a collaboration with evil”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine informed charge d’affaires ad interim of Iran in Ukraine about the decision to revoke the accreditation of the Ambassador of Iran to Ukraine and to significantly reduce the number of embassy’s diplomatic personnel due to the facts of the use of Iranian-made weapons by the Russian troops.
Zelensky said a total of eight Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles had been shot down so far in the conflict. “Today the Russian army used Iranian drones for its strikes. … The world will know about every instance of collaboration with evil, and it will have corresponding consequences,” Zelensky said in a late-night video address.
Military authorities in southern Ukraine also confirmed what Zelenskiy said and explained on Saturday that they had shot down at least seven Iranian drones, including six Shahed-136 “kamikaze” craft over the sea near the ports of Odesa and Pivdennyi on Friday. These included – for the first time in Ukraine – a Mohajer-6, a larger Iranian drone, the southern military command said.
Iran rejects allegations
While Ukraine and the United States accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia, Tehran categorically denied the charge. In this regard, Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdolahian explained this Saturday that Iran has no plans to send military aid neither to Russia nor to Ukraine.
He also added that Iran avoids any actions that could lead to further escalation in Ukraine, including the supply of military equipment,” and that “we have defense agreements with Russia, but we will not help any of the parties involved in this conflict.”
Where do Israel and US stand in the new diplomatic conflict between Iran and Ukraine?
Ukraine’s claims that Iran is assisting Russia with military equipment are indeed coming from Israel’s information provided to Kyiv. And given the animosity between Tel Aviv and Tehran, it could be said that the information provided by Israel could very well be fabricated.
According to an article in Israel’s Jerusalem Post, Ukraine asked Israel to share intelligence on Iranian support being provided to Russia. The article which was published this Sunday also explains that “the request was made during a meeting between Israel’s deputy director general for Euro-Asia Simona Halperin and Ukraine’s special representative for the Middle East Maksym Subkh in Kyiv earlier this month.”
At the same time, U.S. intelligence sources have been indicating since late August that Russia and Iran have inked a deal to outfit Russian troops in Ukraine by using Iranian-made drones against Ukrainian targets.