Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Iran of “lying” after the country has claimed to have supplied drones to Russia “months before” the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran on Saturday acknowledged in the very first instance it provided Russia with drones, but said that they were delivered before the war began in February. Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian said a “small number” of drones were provided to Russia in the months preceding the Russian military attacked Ukraine on February 24 In his telecast message towards Ukraine on Saturday evening President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was accusing Iran of “lying about the obvious” in which Kyiv’s troops were taking down at least 10 unmanned aerial vehicles each day. His remarks came following Iran’s most thorough response to the issue to date in which Amirabdollahian stated, in accordance with IRNA, the state-run IRNA media agency “This controversy made by certain Western nations claims that Iran has supplied drones and missiles to Russia to aid in the fight in Ukraine The missile part is utterly false.
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“They transferred dozens just this summer and have military personnel in occupied Ukraine helping Russia use them,” he said. In the past, Iranian officials had denied that they were arming Russia as part of its military’s campaign with Ukraine. This week Iranian ambassador at the UN Amir Saied Irvine called the accusations “totally unfounded” and reiterated Iran’s neutrality in the conflict. The Security Council had called on Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez to investigate if Russia has employed Iranian drones to target civilians across Ukraine. In the last few weeks, Ukraine has witnessed an increase in drone attacks against infrastructure used by civilians, particularly dams and power plants with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. Russia says its forces haven’t employed Iranian drones to strike Ukraine. IRNA news reports that Mr. Amirabdollahian claimed that Tehran and Kyiv were in agreement to discuss concerns about the deployment by Iranian drones inside Ukraine just two weeks ago, but the Ukrainians didn’t show up at the scheduled meeting. “We agreed with the foreign minister of Ukraine to provide us with documents they have that Russia used Iranian drones in Ukraine,” Mr. Amirabdollahian declared, but the Ukrainian delegation walked out of the scheduled gathering at the very last moment. It was reported that the Iranian foreign minister reiterated that Tehran will “not remain indifferent” if it were proved that Russia has used Iranian drones during the conflict against Ukraine. The European Union last month agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran for drone delivery to Russia and Britain placed sanctions on three Iranian military leaders and the defense manufacturer who supply Russia with drones for attacking infrastructure and civilian locations in Ukraine.