Iran acknowledges sending drones to Russia for the first time

Iran’s foreign minister acknowledged for the first time on Saturday that the country had provided drones to Russia and insisted that the operation occurred before the start of Moscow’s war against Ukraine, in which the Kremlin’s army bombed kyiv with drones. unmanned.

Hossein Amirabdollahian’s remarks came after months of confusing messages from Iran about sending weapons, as Russia uses the gifts to hit energy infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukraine.

“We delivered a limited number of gifts to Russia months before the Ukraine war,” Amirabdollahian told reporters after a meeting in Tehran.

Until now, Iranian officials have denied arming Russia in its offensive against the neighboring country. This week, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Amir Saeid Iravani, called these claims “totally unfounded” and reiterated Tehran’s neutrality in the conflict. The United States and its Western allies in the Security Council have asked Secretary-General António Guterres to investigate whether the Kremlin used Iranian drones against civilians in Ukraine.

Despite this, the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has vaguely boasted of supplying drones to major world powers. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has praised the effectiveness of these weapons and mocked Western concerns about them. At government-organized rallies to commemorate the 1979 takeover of the US embassy, ​​crowds held up banners bearing the image of triangular drones as a show of national pride.

Acknowledging the shipment, Amirabdollahian indicated that Iran was oblivious to the use of its drones in Ukraine. The minister also noted that the country remains committed to stopping the war.

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“If (Ukraine) has any documents in its possession (showing) that Russia used drones in Ukraine, they should provide it to us,” he said. “If we are shown that Russia used Iranian drones in its war against Ukraine, we will not be indifferent to this issue.”

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