No evidence of Russia using Iranian drones – Tehran
Ukrainian officials have failed to present any evidence suggesting Iranian drones have been used by Russia in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow, the Iranian defense minister, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, said on Monday. His words came following a meeting between Ukrainian and Iranian specialists.
“The Ukrainian side did not present any evidence of Russia's use of Iranian drones in the war with this nation at the technical meeting,” the minister told several Iranian news agencies. According to Ashtiani, the Ukrainian officials vowed to present such evidence at the next meeting.
According to the general, claims about Russian forces supposedly employing Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in their campaign in Ukraine are based on “baseless statements and rumors.” Ashtiani said that Moscow and Tehran had a long history of military cooperation, but it was in no way linked to the alleged use of Iranian drones in the conflict.
His words came as the EU considered a new round of sanctions on Tehran, over its response to mass protests inside Iran and alleged weapons supplies to Russia.
Speculation that Tehran has been supplying UAVs to Moscow surfaced in recent months after Russia started to actively use kamikaze drones in its military operation in Ukraine. Kiev and Western media outlets have claimed that Russia’s Geran-2 drones are actually Iranian-made Shahed-136 UAVs.
Both Moscow and Tehran repeatedly denied that Iranian drones are used in the conflict in Ukraine. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian confirmed, however, that Tehran did supply a “small number of drones” to Moscow months before the conflict in Ukraine broke out.