Iran “will not remain indifferent” if a UN investigation establishes that it sent drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war, its foreign ministry has said.
Iran is ‘against both arming Russia and Ukraine,’ said Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who added that his country favored a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Iran’s foreign ministry has said that Tehran would not be indifferent if a UN investigation found that it had sent drones to Russia to be used in the Ukraine conflict.
Iran is “against arming both Russia and Ukraine,” according to Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, who spoke to state-linked media.
“We haven’t provided Russia with any weapons or drones for the purpose of fighting in Ukraine,” he said.
Tehran will not say what actions it will take if the UN definitively determines the source of the drones.
In addition to his reaffirmation of Iran’s desire to directly negotiate with Ukraine on the subject, Mr. Amirabdollahian said that he had informed European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell of this in the recent days.
“I made it clear to Mr Borrell that if … we find out that Russia has employed Iranian drones in the battle against Ukraine, we will not be indifferent about the issue.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently issued a warning that Iran was making a “big mistake” by supplying weapons to Russia.
Kiev and its western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of using Iranian-made drones in attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks.
Iran’s drones having been discovered in Ukraine is corroborated, both by the EU and the US.
Western countries have said in the past that Iran has rejected the allegations.
Russian forces have reportedly used Shahed-136 “loitering munitions,” also known as “kamikaze drones,” to destroy civilian infrastructure, including power stations, in Ukraine, according to analysts. Shahed-136 has been renamed Geran-2 by Russia.
An Iran-made drone, the Mohajer-6, has also been found in Ukraine, completely intact after it crash-landed near Ukrainian defences.
Hundreds of the low-cost weapons, which have been utilized by Iran and Saudi Arabia’s allies in the Middle East to assault the UAE, Saudi Arabia, coalition forces in Iraq, and targets in Yemen, are due to be delivered to Russia, the US said in June.
Civilian infrastructure has often been targeted by drones.
Analysts said that Iran’s nuclear programme was most likely derailed or at least frozen as a result of new US and EU sanctions, which may have resulted in sanctions being lifted in return for UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities if a deal had been reached.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani denied US claims that Iranian military personnel were in Russian-controlled Crimea to assist Moscow with drone strikes in Ukraine.
“This news has been rejected strongly,” said Kanani, at a press conference.
Moscow believes that Washington’s assertion seeks to divert public opinion from their destructive role in the Ukraine conflict by siding with one side and heavily exporting weapons and equipment to the country, he said.
John Kirby, a White House national security spokesman, said last Thursday that Iranian forces were “on the ground in Crimea” to assist Russia in its operations, and that they were trainers and technology support personnel.
Senior State Department spokesman John Kirby said that Iran was now directly involved on the ground in Ukraine through the provision of weapons that were harming civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Iran has already been sanctioned by the US, Britain, and the EU over the issue of drones.
Kiev decided last month to significantly reduce its diplomatic relations with Tehran over alleged arms deliveries to Moscow.