Iran says there is no evidence of its drones being used by Russia in Ukraine

Iran said that at a meeting held to discuss this issue, Ukrainian officials were not able to provide any evidence to back the claim that its drones were being used in the Ukraine war

December 13, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Iranian defense minister denies Ukraine's claims
Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani. (Photo: Government of Iran/Twitter)

The Iranian defense ministry claimed on Monday, December 12, that Ukraine, during a meeting between representatives and experts from both the countries, had failed to provide any evidence to support claims that Russia is using Iranian drones in its attack on the country.

The meeting was organized on Monday following a request made by Iran’s permanent representative at the UN Amir Saeid Iravani last month, in an attempt to refute allegations that Iran was in violation of the UN Security Council resolution of 2015. This resolution had endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and lifted all prior international sanctions on Iran.  

After the meeting on Monday, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani told the press that Western media’s claims – echoed by the US, EU, Ukraine, and NATO – that Russia was using Iranian-made drones in Ukraine were baseless, Press Tv reported. 

“The Ukrainian side did not present any evidence of Russia’s use of Iranian drones in the war with his country at the technical meeting,” Ashtiani said. While he did admit that Iran and Russia have a long history of military cooperation, he said that it is in no way related to “Tehran’s drone supply during Moscow’s special operation in Kiev.”

The EU, the US, and NATO have all claimed that Russia is using Iranian drones in its war in Ukraine since July this year, after US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan suggested that Iran was planning to supply drones to Russia. Although Sullivan did not produce any evidence to substantiate his claims, and despite repeated Russian and Iranian rebuttals to such reports, the US and EU have already imposed sanctions on Iran and threatened further action if it continues this alleged supply.    

The press conference came soon after the European Union announced a fresh round of sanctions against Iranian officials regarding the issue on Monday. A statement issued by the European Council justifying new sanctions on Iran claimed that “weapons provided by Iran are being used indiscriminately by Russia against Ukrainian civilian population and infrastructure, causing horrendous destruction and human suffering.”   

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confirmed last month that Iran had supplied drones to Russia before the beginning of the war in Ukraine, but denied that those drones have been used by Russia to carry out attacks inside Ukraine. 

Iran has alleged that the West is trying to use the issue of drones to establish that Iran has violated UNSC resolution 2231. On October 21, the UK, France, Germany, and the US had demanded a UN investigation into the supply of Iranian drones to Russia in a formal letter to Secretary General António Guterres, in which they alleged that Iran had violated the resolution.