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Iran admits supplying Russia with drones after having said it had not

US Special Envoy Robert Malley: ‘Iran has military personnel in occupied Ukraine helping Russia use the drones’

A photo of a fragment of an Iranian drone shot down in Ukraine. (Photo: Israeli President’s Office)

With Iran admitting that it is supplying drones to Russia that are being used now in the war against Ukraine, the Ukrainian foreign ministry has warned of “complicity” with Moscow.

The Iranian foreign minister said last week that his country supplied Russia with the suicide drones that are being dive-bombed into civilian targets and infrastructure in Ukraine but said the drone sale happened prior to the war.  

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reportedly complained that the West is making a “fuss” and that Iran sold Russia a “limited number of drones months before the Ukraine war.” 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Iran lying about the number of drones sold to Russia as he noted that Ukraine is downing at least 10 of the remotely piloted aircraft every day.

Furthermore, according to a social media post by U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, Iran “transferred dozens [of drones to Russia] just this summer and have military personnel in occupied Ukraine helping Russia use them.” The United States and other Western countries in the U.N. Security Council have asked U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to investigate the matter. 

Earlier this week, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Amir Saeid Iravani claimed that Iran is practicing neutrality in the Russian war on Ukraine and said that to imply that Iran has been supporting Russia in the campaign is “totally unfounded.” Regardless of Iran’s claims of neutrality, the Islamic Republic’s leader Ali Khamenei has extolled the efficacy of the drones and played down the concerns of Western nations. 

In stark contrast, Amir-Abdollahian called upon Ukraine to provide proof that Russia is using Iran-sourced drones against it, and said that Iran is committed to bringing an end to the conflict.

The European Union last month decided upon new sanctions against Iran over its drone deliveries to Russia, while Britain imposed sanctions on three Iranian military figures and a defense manufacturer.

Ukraine's Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba suggested last month that Ukraine should sever diplomatic relations with Iran.

This week, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Oleg Nikolenko, noted on social media that Iran had previously lied about supplying weapons to Russia.

"Ukraine is taught to trust only facts. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry led by Dmytro Kuleba, as well as in close coordination with Ukrainian involved agencies, will continue to take maximum strict measures to prevent Russia's use of Iranian weapons to kill Ukrainians and destroy our critical infrastructure," he said, according to a Facebook translation.

"Tehran should realize that the consequences of complicity in the crimes of Russian aggression against Ukraine will be much larger than the benefits of Russia's support."

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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