Iran says it delivered drones to Russia months before the Ukraine war : NPR

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This undated photo released by the Strategic Communications Directorate of the Ukrainian Army shows the wreckage of what Kiev has described as an Iranian Shahed drone shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine. Iran has admitted for the first time that it has sent drones to Russia, but says the delivery took place before the invasion of Ukraine.

Strategic communication of the Ukrainian army through AP


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Strategic communication of the Ukrainian army through AP


This undated photo released by the Strategic Communications Directorate of the Ukrainian Army shows the wreckage of what Kiev has described as an Iranian Shahed drone shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine. Iran has admitted for the first time that it has sent drones to Russia, but says the delivery took place before the invasion of Ukraine.

Strategic communication of the Ukrainian army through AP

KYIV, Ukraine — Iran has first acknowledged that it has supplied military drones to Russia, but says they were delivered just months before the invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking to Iran’s state media, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian downplayed the number of drones delivered to Russia. He also denied that Iran will continue to supply the weapons. “We gave a limited number of drones to Russia months before the war in Ukraine,” he said.

However, Ukrainian officials say the drones have become an important part of Moscow’s arsenal. In his overnight address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Zelensky accused the Iranians of “lying” in their confession, claiming it does not reveal the full extent of Iran’s involvement.

“We shoot down at least 10 Iranian drones every day, but the Iranian regime claims it has only provided Russia with a small number, and those before the start of the large-scale invasion,” he said. “Just yesterday for one day, 11 Shahed drones were destroyed.”

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov added that the drones are regularly used to attack civilian areas. He said the weapons from Iran play a central role in Russia’s attack on power plants and other electrical infrastructure in his country. The Ukrainian state electricity company has advised that there will be frequent power outages in the capital and other regions as a result of the ongoing drone and missile strikes.

Reznikov also said Iran downplayed its involvement and that Ukraine has details of contracts showing Iran agreed to provide Russia with “between 1,500 and 2,400 drones.” He claimed that Ukrainian forces have shot down hundreds of Iranian drones, although some are still getting through and hitting their targets.

Russia has claimed that Western countries have turned the conflict into a proxy war by sending advanced missiles and other weapons to Ukraine.

Ukraine has also accused Iran of sending military personnel to Crimea to train Russian troops in the use of the weapons. Iran denies the claim.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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