Iran has denied its participation in any project for the joint production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with Russia, rejecting Western media reports in this regard as “sheer lies.”
Nour News, which is affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the remark in a Monday tweet.
“Iran does not participate in any independent or joint project for production of drones in Russia,” the agency said, adding, “Reports by Western media in this regard are sheer lies.”
It added, “Western strategists had better find more believable excuses for the continuation of the war of attrition in Ukraine.”
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed "officials from a country aligned with the US" as saying that Moscow and Tehran have advanced plans to build an Iranian-designed factory in Russia to produce at least 6,000 combat drones.
"The two countries are aiming to build a faster drone that could pose new challenges for Ukrainian air defenses," the WSJ said, citing officials.
Tehran has multiple times rejected in the strongest terms the Western claims of Iran’s delivery of weapons and drones to Russia to be used against Ukraine, saying the country has been engaged in defense cooperation with Moscow for long and pursues a resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
In a statement last week, the Iranian Defense Ministry announced that one of its workshop complexes in the central city of 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, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, took to Twitter to express his joy. He said “Ukraine did warn you.”
An informed source told Nour News on Tuesday that Iran is likely to change its approach toward the Ukraine war in response to the Kiev government’s implicit admittance of responsibility for the foiled drone attack in Isfahan.
Russia focused on its own program of developing drones: Kremlin
Separately, the Kremlin spokesman was quoted by Russia's TASS news agency as denying The Wall Street Journal's claim about Moscow's cooperation with Tehran in drone production.
"Russia is focused on its own program of developing unmanned aerial vehicles,” Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.
Peskov added, "Russia has an array of its own programs for creating unmanned aerial platforms for very diverse goals and these programs are being implemented."
The Kremlin spokesman noted that at the end of December last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a list of instructions on developing unmanned aerial systems.
“The head of state also handed down an instruction to approve the strategy of developing unmanned aircraft through 2030 and for a period until 2035, which stipulates mass production of drones,” he added.
Peskov concluded by saying, "We have our own development programs and I do not know what sources the newspaper relied on in its reports."