Iran has admitted for the first time that it has sent drones to Russia. However, the Islamic Republic has insisted that the drones were supplied before Russian launched its invasion of Ukraine. Iran has long been facing international accusations of having sent weapons to Russia.
“We supplied Russia with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.
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Iran had been repeatedly denying allegations of having supplied arms to Russia for use in Ukraine war.
“In a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian foreign minister last week, we agreed that if there was evidence (of Moscow’s use of Iranian drones), he would provide it to us,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
On the sidelines of a meeting in Tehran, Iran’s top diplomat said, “We agreed with the foreign minister of Ukraine that if they have any documents on Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine, they should provide them to us.”
“If the Ukrainian side keeps its promise, we can discuss this issue in the coming days and we will take into account their evidence,” he added.
However, the Iranian minister again sought to deny that his country had supplied missiles to Russia. He called these allegations “completely false”.
The Washington Post reported on October 16 that Iran was preparing to ship missiles to Russia.
Ukraine has previously said that around 400 Iranian drones had already been used against its civilian population. Kyiv has also said that Russia has ordered around 2000 such drones.
In response to these transfers, the European Union and United Kingdom have imposed sanctions on three Iranian generals and an arms firm accused of supplying Russia with drones.
In September, Kiev decided to significantly reduce diplomatic relations with Tehran because of alleged arms shipments to the country.
(With inputs from agencies)
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