Ukraine minister tells Iranian counterpart: Stop sending weapons | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said he spoke by phone with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amirabdullahian.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba said in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Amirabdallahian, that he asked Tehran to stop supplying arms to Russia.

Ukrainian officials and their Western allies have accused Iran of supplying Russia with so-called “kamikaze” drones, which were recently used by Moscow’s forces in attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure to devastating effect.

Iran strenuously denies sending any weapons, including drones, to Russia.

“Today, I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian,” Qulaiba wrote in a tweet late Friday.

“I demand that Iran immediately stop sending Russian weapons to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” he wrote.

In recent weeks, Russia has launched a wave of missile and drone strikes that have hit Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and forced power outages in Kyiv and towns across the country.

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Kyiv said Russia used Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack drones, which cruise towards targets and explode on impact.

Amirabdollahian said on Monday that he was ready to have a dialogue with Ukraine over claims that Tehran was selling drones to Russia for Ukraine’s use, the Islamic Republic of Iran news agency reported.

According to IRNA, Amirabdollahian has refuted allegations of supplying Russia with drones for use in Ukraine.

“We took weapons from Russia in the past and gave it weapons, but not during the war in Ukraine,” IRNA quoted the foreign minister as saying.

The minister also said he had told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that Iran was willing to participate in the investigation into the drones used by Ukraine.

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“I told Josep Borrell that I was ready for a panel of military experts from Iran and Ukraine to evaluate claims about the use of Iranian-made drones in the Ukrainian war,” Abdollahian was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Armed drones have become a key weapon in Russia’s arsenal during the Ukrainian war and have been used to target critical energy infrastructure over the past month, with devastating effects and causing nationwide power shortages in Ukraine.

Ukraine said on Friday that its forces had shot down more than 300 Russian drones since mid-September, describing them as Shahed-136 models imported from Iran.

Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Inat told reporters in Kyiv that Russia had ordered about 2,400 kamikaze drones, although the exact number of Moscow’s armed drone stockpile was not known.

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Also on Friday, Iranian nationals living in Ukraine staged a protest in Kyiv over Tehran’s alleged supply of drones to Russia that were used in Moscow’s war against the country.

Protesters dressed in Ukrainian colors and held Ukrainian and Iranian flags. A man holds a placard that reads Russia:
Iranians living in Ukraine take part in a protest against the Tran government and the delivery of Iranian drones to Russia in central Kyiv, Ukraine, October 28, 2022 [Gleb Garanich/Reuters]

Iran has strongly condemned calls by France, Germany and the United Kingdom for the United Nations to investigate whether Russia used an Iranian-origin drone to attack Ukraine.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said over the weekend that the three countries’ calls were “false and unfounded” and had been “strongly rejected and condemned”.

In a letter signed by the UN envoy, the three European countries backed Ukraine’s request for a UN investigation, saying the use of drones violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which passed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The U.S. said the alleged export of kamikaze drones used in Ukraine may have violated the resolution, which could trigger the automatic resumption of international sanctions on Iran.


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