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Iran FM: West's unchecked arms supply to Ukraine further complicates situation

The combo photo shows Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) and his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has reiterated the Islamic Republic’s strong opposition to the war in Ukraine, saying the West's unchecked delivery of weapons to Kiev has further complicated the situation in the former Soviet country.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remark in a phone conversation requested by his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, on Thursday as the two top diplomats discussed the latest developments relating to bilateral ties, recent global developments and some issues of mutual interest.

Pointing to the Ukrainian conflict, Amir-Abdollahian said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is against the continuation of war, including in Ukraine, and we believe that the unchecked flow of American and European arms to Ukraine has made the situation more complicated.”

The Iranian foreign ministry has on numerous occasions said the country opposes the continuation of the war in Ukraine and strives for a ceasefire between the warring sides, also dismissing Western allegations that Tehran has been providing drones to Moscow to be used in the Ukraine war.

Tehran, which has repeatedly rejected in the strongest terms the Western claims of delivery of weapons and drones to Russia to be used against Ukraine, says it has had long-term defense cooperation with Moscow and pursues a resolution of the conflict through dialog and diplomacy.

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

Both Iran and Russia have in the past vehemently denied baseless allegations that Tehran provided Moscow with drones.

This is while the United States and its European allies have been providing Kiev with an assortment of arms and weapons, fanning the flames of war in the ex-Soviet republic.

Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24 with the aim of “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.

In response to the military operation, the US and its European allies have imposed waves of economic sanctions on Moscow, which has spawned the worst energy crisis in the world. At the same time, Western states have been supplying Ukraine with millions of dollars worth of advanced weapons and funds in a move that Moscow has repeatedly warned will only prolong the simmering conflict.

During the Thursday phone conversation, the Iranian foreign minister also updated his Finnish counterpart on the latest developments on the talks on the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions.

Haavisto, for his part, expressed appreciation for being briefed of the latest status of sanction-removal negotiations and once again voiced his support for the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

During the telephone conversation, Haavisto touched on the issue of Afghanistan and appreciated the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic in hosting Afghan refugees, saying, “Finland is ready to continue cooperation with Iran in helping Afghan refugees and internally-displaced Afghans.”

The two counterparts also referred to the 90 years of diplomatic relations between their countries and underlined the need for the consolidation of bilateral ties, as well as discussing some consular issues.

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