Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Iran of “lying and cooperating with terrorism” for supporting Russia in its war against his country.
Zelensky said, in a message via the Telegram application, that Iran is lying even when it admits, and the 44-year-old president claimed that his country’s forces shoot down ten drones every day.
Iran had admitted supplying Russia with a “limited number” of drones, but it continued to deny allegations that these planes were used in the Ukraine war.
Iranian state media quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying that although Tehran supplied Moscow with weapons a few months before the conflict, there is no evidence that they were used (in the war).
This statement contradicts repeated US assertions that the wreckage of Iranian Shahed-136 drones have been found in Ukraine, along with evidence that Iranian military personnel are helping Russia in their use.
“We know for sure that the Iranian trainers taught Russian terrorists how to use drones, and Tehran is generally silent about it,” Zelensky said.
He continued, “And if Iran continues to lie about the obvious, this means that the world will make more efforts to investigate terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes and what Russia pays to Iran in exchange for such cooperation.”
“There will be no such thing in the modern world, that is, that any terrorists or their accomplices remain unpunished,” Zelensky added.
The European Union, the United States and Britain imposed sanctions on Iran for providing Russia with drones, as the West believes that Tehran provided Moscow with “kamikaze” drones.
In Iran’s most detailed response to date to the allegations, Amir Abdollahian denied that Tehran was continuing to supply Moscow with drones.
“The fuss made by some Western countries that Iran is providing missiles and drones to Russia to help it in the war against Ukraine… the part about the missiles is completely wrong,” he was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.
“The part about the drones is correct, and we provided Russia with a limited number of drones months before the Ukraine war,” he added.
In recent weeks, Ukraine has reported an increase in the use of drones in attacks on its civilian infrastructure, particularly targeting power plants and dams.
Russia denies that its forces have used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine.
Last month, Reuters news agency quoted four senior Iranian officials and diplomats as saying that Tehran had promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, as well as more drones.
The official IRNA news agency quoted Amir Abdollahian as saying that Tehran and Kiev agreed two weeks ago to discuss allegations about the use of Iranian drones in Ukraine, but the Ukrainians did not attend the agreed meeting.
“We agreed with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine to present the documents they have, according to which Russia used Iranian drones in Ukraine,” Abdollahian said, but the Ukrainian delegation withdrew from the agreed meeting at the last minute.
The Iranian foreign minister reiterated that Tehran “will not remain indifferent” if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine.
Last month, the European Union approved new sanctions against Iran over its supply of drones to Russia. Britain also imposed sanctions on three Iranian military figures and an arms manufacturer for providing Russia with drones to attack civilians and infrastructure targets in Ukraine.