Tehran acknowledged selling drones to Moscow, but said that this transaction took place “months” before the conflict with Ukraine. This is the first time Iran accepts its drones are being used by Russia.
Iranian Foreign Minister responded charges made by Western authorities that Moscow received Iranian drones for its invasion. Hossein Amirabdollahian says that surface-to-surface rockets may also be on the way after a press conference today in Iranian capital.
Amirabdollahian asserted that “their statements on the missiles aspect are entirely incorrect, but their comments on the drones section are accurate. Before the conflict in Ukraine, we provided a small number of drones to Russia.”
Officials from Iran have already claimed on multiple occasions that they cooperate with Russia in “defense.” However, they haven’t given them any weapons “for the purpose of being used in the war in Ukraine”.
Amirabdollahian reaffirmed today that Tehran is willing to negotiate to Kiev and has not supported either side in the conflict.
The diplomatic chief claims that an Iranian diplomatic and military team went to a secret European nation to meet with Ukrainian counterparts. But under influence from Washington, particularly Germany, they decided not to proceed “at the last minute.”
“We have stressed to Ukrainian authorities that if there is evidence about the utilization of Iranian drones in the war by Russia, they should submit it to us,” he said.
He said that Now they want to get involved in a talk with the Iranian side in Europe and have coffee with them. They had informed the Ukrainian party that they intend to punish Tehran for the drones.
If it is proved to Tehran that Moscow has utilized Iranian drones in the Ukraine battle, Tehran will not be oblivious. Amirabdollahian also added that Tehran still awaits Ukraine to deliver the documentation.
Drones Sales; Before War
Ukrainian authorities frequently denounced Tehran and severed diplomatic relationships. Kiev’s policy was followed by the United States and the European Union who placed penalties on a number of Iranian organizations and officials in response to the drone shipments to Moscow.
Russia has claimed that the drones it employed in the conflict were produced in Russia and has banned the UN from looking into the deployment of drones in Ukraine.
Tehran has also criticized Western attempts to use UN Security Council Resolution 2231 as justification for the UN to look into the matter. Resolution 2231 is the legal framework of the Iranian 2015 nuclear agreement with Western powers.
Few weeks ago, a prominent Ukrainian journalist claimed that Tajikistan too is providing Russia with drones to kill Ukrainians. The Foreign Ministry in Dushanbe responded to the data and released a statement to reject the allegations. “The republic of Tajikistan does not export military equipment to third countries,” the office said in its statement.
In one of its most recent claims, the US has alleged that Tehran has sent not only military equipment, but also military personnel to Crimea to assist Russian drone attacks on Ukrainian targets. John Kirby, the communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said in October that the involvement of Iranian forces was evidence of Tehran’s direct participation in the conflict.
Neither Ukraine nor the United States and European countries, however, have provided the international society with documented proofs about Iran’s involvements. The allegations, as such, were strictly refuted by Tehran ever since the kick-off of war in Ukraine.