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Iran says will give 'proportional' response to Ukraine decision to downgrade ties

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan'ani

Iran says it will take a "proportional action" in response to Ukraine's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties over allegations of the Islamic Republic's arms supply to Russia.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kan'ani on Saturday expressed regret over Ukraine’s revocation of the Iranian ambassador’s accreditation, saying the decision was "based on unconfirmed reports and resulted from media hype by foreign sides."

Ukraine said on Friday that it would withdraw accreditation of the Iranian ambassador and significantly reduce the number of diplomatic staff at the Iranian embassy in Kyiv over what it called Tehran’s “unfriendly” decision to supply Russian forces with drones.

In reaction to such claims, Kan'ani once again reiterated Iran's explicit stance on "active neutrality" in the ongoing dispute between Ukraine and Russia.

Iran opposes war and stresses the need to settle differences through political channels without any violence, the Iranian spokesperson pointed out.

He noted that numerous meetings and contacts between the Iranian foreign minister and his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in recent months have been in line with the policy to help resolve the crisis.

Kan'ani advised the Ukrainian government to "refrain from being influenced by third parties who seek to destroy relations between the two countries."

Iran has in the past rejected the claims about its plan to sell “hundreds” of the drones to Moscow and train Russian pilots on how to use them, saying the country will not assist either side of the war.

Russia began a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, saying it was aimed at “demilitarizing” the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.

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