Tehran says it “will not be indifferent” if it is proven that Russia used its unmanned aerial vehicles in the Ukraine conflict.
Tehran, Iran – Iran has confirmed for the first time that it was selling drones to Russia, but said it happened “months” before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Tehran on Saturday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian responded to claims by Western officials that Iranian drones were supplied to Moscow for 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 and before the war in Ukraine,” Amirabdollahian said.
Iranian officials have previously said on numerous occasions that Tehran has “defense” cooperation with Russia, but has not supplied the Kremlin with weapons “for the purpose of being used in the war in Ukraine”.
Amirabdollahian reiterated on Saturday that Iran had not supported any of the warring parties and was ready to talk to Ukraine.
“We have stressed to Ukrainian officials that if there is evidence of Iranian drone use in the Ukrainian 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 visited an unnamed European country two weeks ago to hold a meeting with Ukrainian counterparts, but they refused to attend “at the 11th hour” under pressure from the United States and Europe. , especially Germany.
“They had told the Ukrainian side that we want to sanction Iran for the drone issue, and now you want to go to a meeting with the Iranians in Europe and have a coffee with them,” he said.
Amirabdollahian said Iran still expects Ukraine to present the evidence in the coming days and “if it is proven to us that Russia used Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine, we don’t. we will not remain indifferent”.
The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on a number of Iranian entities and officials for drone sales to Russia, while Ukrainian officials have repeatedly condemned Tehran and downgraded Diplomatic links.
Moscow said the unmanned aerial vehicles it used during the war were Russian-made and has warned the UN against an investigation into its use of drones in Ukraine.
Iran has also denounced attempts by the West to use UN Security Council Resolution 2231underpinning its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, to prompt the UN to investigate the matter.
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