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Iran dismisses accusations it provided Russia with weapons

A Ukrainian trooper fires a grenade launcher towards Russian positions in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk on October 12, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has once again dismissed accusations by some Western countries and their media outlets that it provided weapons, including drones, to Russia for deployment against Ukraine.

Speaking on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesman Nasser Kan'ani called such allegations "unfounded," which were made on the basis of "misinformation and ill-intentioned presumptions."

The claims, he added, were being disseminated as part of a political and goal-oriented campaign led by some countries' media outlets.

Iran, the official noted, was ready to hold dialog with Ukraine towards nullification of the allegations.

The remarks were made amid Russia's February-present "special military operation" in the ex-Soviet republic.

Moscow says it has launched the mission in order to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk against persecution by Kiev.

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.

Since the onset of the conflict, Iran has been observing a policy of "active neutrality," expressing its opposition to continuation of the warfare, and emphasizing the need for peaceful resolution of standing differences between Moscow and Kiev, Kan'ani noted.

Iran has also invariably stressed the need for respect for various countries' sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, including Ukraine, based on the principles of the United Nation's Charter, the official concluded.

The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war in Ukraine.

The Reuters has, meanwhile, reported that the United States, Britain, and France were planning to raise the claim during a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, however, the Pentagon said it could not confirm transfer of any Iranian weaponry to Russia.

"I don't have any information to corroborate that at this time," Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said at a press conference.

Speaking earlier in the month, the Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov had likewise dismissed such allegations, saying the hardware that was being used in the operation was Russian.

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