Tehran says it will “not be indifferent” if it is proven that Russia has used its drones in the conflict in Ukraine.
Tehran, Iran – Iran confirmed for the first time that it had sold drones to Russia, but said that this happened “months” before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Tehran on Saturday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabadollahian spoke of claims by Western officials that Iranian drones supplied Moscow with its invasion, and that surface-to-surface missiles might also be on the way.
Their comments on the missile part are completely wrong, and the drone part is correct. We gave Russia a limited number of drones months ago and before the war in Ukraine.
Iranian officials had previously said on several occasions that Tehran had “defensive” cooperation with Russia, but had not supplied the Kremlin with weapons “for use in the war in Ukraine”.
Amirabadollahian reiterated on Saturday that Iran was not on the side of either side in the war and was ready to talk to Ukraine.
“We have assured Ukrainian officials that if there is evidence that Iranian drones were used in the Ukraine war by Russia, they should present it to us,” he said.
We will not be indifferent
According to the diplomat, an Iranian political and military delegation traveled to an unnamed European country two weeks ago to hold a meeting with its Ukrainian counterparts, but they refused to attend “at the eleventh hour” as a result of pressure from the United States and Europe. Especially Germany.
“They told the Ukrainian side that we want to punish Iran over the drone issue, and now you want to participate in a meeting with the Iranians in Europe and have coffee with them,” he said.
Amirbadollahian said that Iran still expects Ukraine to provide evidence in the coming days, and “if it is proven to us that Russia used Iranian drones in the Ukraine war, we will not be indifferent to it.”
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian entities and officials over drone sales to Russia, as Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denounced Tehran and downgraded diplomatic relations.
Moscow said the drones it used in the war were Russian-made, and warned the United Nations to investigate its use of drones in Ukraine.
Iran has also denounced efforts by the West to use UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which backs the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, to urge the United Nations to investigate the issue.
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