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Iran mulls changing strategy on Ukraine war after Kiev's 'hostile comments' on Isfahan attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
An Iranian flag flutters in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Iran is likely to change its approach toward the Ukraine war in response to the Kiev government’s implicit admittance of responsibility for a foiled drone attack in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, according to an informed source.

Speaking to Iran’s Nour News, the unnamed source said hostile remarks by an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can lead to "different reactions" from Tehran.

“Ukraine’s insistence on threatening Iran’s national security can pave the way for mulling a change in the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the war in Ukraine and adopting a new approach proportionate to the behavior of the Kiev government,” the source said.

“If the hostile statements of Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Ukrainian president, against Iran are not corrected by the country’s authorities, they can lead to different reactions by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

In a statement early on Sunday, the Iranian Defense Ministry announced that one of its workshop complexes in Isfahan had come under attack from a number of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), but the complex’s air defenses successfully repelled the attack.

The ministry underscored that the unsuccessful attack did not cause any loss of life and only led to minor damage to the roof of a workshop. The complex, it added, continues its ordinary operations following the attack.

Reacting to the report, Podolyak took to Twitter on Sunday to express his joy. He said that “Ukraine did warn you.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Ukraine’s charge d’affaires to give explanations about Podolyak’s remarks.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ally, Israel, has been blamed for the foiled attack. The Wall Street Journal said in a report that “Israel carried out the drone attack on an Iranian military center for research and development midnight Saturday.”

Citing unnamed American officials and people familiar with the operation, the paper added that the attack targeted “what some sources said was Material and Energy Laboratory of Isfahan with ‘small drones’.”

The source also told Nour News that Iran has been pursuing a principled stance on the war in Ukraine since its outset and has repeatedly emphasized the necessity of stopping the military conflict and resolving it through dialogue.

“While the Ukrainian government, incited by its Western partners, has falsely accused Iran of providing arms support to Russia during the war in Ukraine, it has not yet been able to provide any evidence to prove its claim,” they said.

The source noted that Iran has repeatedly called for holding a joint meeting with the Ukrainian side to discuss any possible evidence pertaining to Kiev’s accusations against Tehran.

“In the last joint meeting held between the political and military experts of the two countries in Qatar, the Ukrainian side did not present any document to prove the claim of Iran’s arms support to Russia, and it was agreed that the documents will be presented in the next meetings,” added the source.

Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the Ukraine war.

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.

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