Amid speculations that Russia is using Iranian-made drones in its fight against Ukraine, Iran once again categorically rejects any transforming of any weapons to Russia.
During a telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said that Iran has not and will not supply Russia with weapons in its war with Ukraine.
“Although some countries provided military support to Ukraine, we never sent and will never send any weapons to Russia for use <…> against Ukraine since we believe that the solution to this crisis is political and offering any arms support to the two sides delays the chance for peace,” Amirabdollahian said on this Friday.
Less than two weeks ago on September 27, the Iranian foreign minister repeated the same words and asserted during an interview with Al-Monitor that Iran did not support any of the parties to the conflict in Ukraine and was against foreign arms exports either to Russia or to Ukraine.
When asked if Iran is selling drones to Russia for use in Ukraine? Amirabdollahian said: “we have an agreement to have defense cooperation with Russia. But we are not supporting either side in the Ukrainian war that will result in the continuation of the war. We are strongly opposed to any kind of war, whether it is in Ukraine or in Yemen, or in Palestine.”
Also last week on Monday, Spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Nasser Kanaani denied the claims and said that during numerous meetings with its Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, Iran has repeatedly stressed the need to resolve existing differences through dialogue, and that speculations that Iran is supplying Russia with UAVs for the special military operation in Ukraine are not true.
In August, and even a few days before Washington Post article was published, The Russian embassy in Tehran also denied that Iranian networks help smuggle munitions and military hardware sourced from Iraq to Russia for the war in Ukraine. The embassy said in a tweet on Sunday, 24 April that “the information that appeared in some media about the supply of Iranian weapons to Russia is fake and does not correspond with reality”.
Where did the claim emanate from?
Everything about Iran’s possible military aid to Russia started from an article published on 29 August in the Washington Post, alleging that Iran was supplying drones to Russia.
In the article, writers Ellen Nakashima and Joby Warrick claim that according to U.S. officials, Russian cargo planes have quietly picked up the first of scores of Iranian-made combat drones for use against Ukraine.
“Transport planes departed Iran on Aug. 19 hauling at least two types of unmanned aerial vehicles, both capable of carrying munitions for attacks on radars, artillery and other military targets, according to intelligence gathered by U.S. and other spy agencies.” The article reads.
There have been also similar claims from US administration officials since then about the matter. Back in July, for example, the Biden administration warned that Russia was preparing to get hundreds of Iranian drones to carry out strikes against Ukraine.
In this regard, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said it was unclear whether Iran had already provided any of the unmanned systems to Russia, but said the U.S. has “information” that indicates Iran is preparing to train Russian forces to use them as soon as this month. “Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” he told reporters on July 12.