Iran admits to transporting drones to Russia before the Ukraine war According to Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A view of a drone during a military exercise at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on Aug. 24, 2022. Iran’s military / WANA ( West Asia News Agency) / Handout via REUTERS
(Reuters) – Iran admitted for the first time on Saturday that it had supplied the drones to Moscow but said they were sent before the war in Ukraine, where Russia has used the drones to Targeting power stations and civil infrastructure.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said a “small number” of drones had been supplied to Russia a few months before Moscow’s forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.
In Iran’s most detailed response to date on drones, Amirabdollahian denied Tehran was continuing to supply Moscow with drones.
The IRNA news agency quoted him as saying: “This rumbling by some Western countries that Iran has supplied missiles and drones to Russia to help with the war in Ukraine – the missile part is complete. totally wrong”.
“The drone part is true, and we supplied Russia with a small number of drones a few months before the Ukraine war,” he said.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has reported an increase in drone attacks on civilian infrastructure, especially against power stations and dams, using drones. Iranian-made Shahed-136 pilot. Russia denies its forces used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.
Last month, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters that Iran had promised to supply Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, in addition to more drones.
The IRNA news agency quoted Amirabdollahian as saying that Tehran and Kyiv had agreed to discuss allegations of Iranian drone use in Ukraine two weeks ago but Ukraine was not present at the agreed meeting.
“We agreed with the Ukrainian foreign minister to provide us with the documents they have about Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine,” said Amirabdollahian, but the Ukrainian delegation withdrew from the meeting. expected last minute.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a written request for comment.
Iran’s foreign minister reiterated that Tehran will “not be indifferent” if it is proven that Russia used Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine.
Last month, the European Union agreed to new sanctions against Iran over the delivery of its drones to Russia, and Britain imposed sanctions on three Iranian military figures and three Iranian military figures. a defense manufacturer for supplying drones to Russia to attack civilian and infrastructure targets in Ukraine.