Tehran has censured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s allegation that Iran has sent drones to Russia to be used in the war against Ukraine, saying the “worthless” claim is a plea for more Western weapons and funds for Kiev.
In a statement on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani slammed Zelensky’s comments as a “blame game” with the aim of deflecting public attention.
He said the Ukrainian president put up a “political show” full of “worthless” and “groundless” allegations.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stated that it is deeply saddened by the suffering of the people of Ukraine, emphasizes the need to find a political solution to end it as soon as possible, and is ready to assist in its realization,” he said.
Kan’ani also made clear that the Islamic Republic has always been against the war in Ukraine and its continuation.
“The repetition of false claims by the Ukrainian president against the Islamic Republic is in line with the propaganda and media war of the anti-Iranian axis against Iran’s government and people with the aim of securing as much arms and financial aid as possible from Western countries,” he noted.
Pointing to Iran’s readiness to discuss the issue with Kiev, Kan’ani said, “The Ukrainian side’s avoidance of expert talks with the Iranian side in order to investigate the claims confirms their baselessness and the existence of specific political goals and motives behind such accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Ukraine and Western countries have accused Iran of providing Russia with military drones for use in the war. 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 last year, 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.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in November dismissed media controversy over Iran’s alleged support for Russia in the war, adding, however, that Tehran had provided Moscow with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine.
He also stressed that Iran will not be indifferent if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the conflict.