Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he had telephone conversations with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has said in a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian that he has demanded Tehran to stop supplying weapons to Russia.
Ukrainian officials and their Western allies have accused Iran of supplying Russia with so-called “kamikaze” drones, which have recently been used with devastating effect by Moscow’s forces in attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.
Iran has strongly denied sending weapons, including drones, to Russia.
“Today I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian,” Kuleba wrote in a tweet late Friday.
“I have demanded Iran to immediately stop the flow of weapons to Russia that are used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” he wrote.
Today I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian demanding Iran immediately stop the flow of weapons to Russia that are used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) October 28, 2022
Russia has unleashed a spate of missile and drone strikes in recent weeks, hitting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and forcing power cuts in Kiev and cities and towns across the country.
Kiev says Russia has used Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack drones, which fly toward their target and explode on impact.
Amirabdollahian said Monday he was ready to talk to Ukraine about claims that Tehran had sold drones to Russia for use in Ukraine, Iran’s state IRNA (The Islamic Republic News Agency) reported.
Amirabdollahian dismissed the charges of supplying drones to Russia for use in Ukraine, IRNA reported.
“In the past we have taken weapons from Russia and also given it weapons, but not during the war in Ukraine,” IRNA quoted the foreign minister as saying.
The minister also said he told Josep Borrell, the European Union’s head of foreign policy, that Iran was willing to participate in an investigation into the drones used in Ukraine.
“I have told Josep Borrell that I am ready for a team of military experts from Iran and Ukraine to review claims about the use of Iran-made drones in the war in Ukraine,” IRNA quoted Abdollahian as saying.
Armed drones have become a key weapon in Russia’s arsenal during the war in Ukraine and have been used with devastating effect in the past month to attack critical energy infrastructure, leading to nationwide power shortages in Ukraine.
Ukraine said on Friday that its forces have shot down more than 300 Russian drones since mid-September, which it described as Shahed-136 models imported from Iran.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuri Ihnat told journalists in Kiev that Russia had ordered an estimated 2,400 kamikaze drones, although the exact size of Moscow’s stock of armed drones was not known.
Also on Friday, Iranian nationals living in Ukraine staged a protest in Kiev against the Tehran government that allegedly provided Russia with drones used in Moscow’s war against the country.
Iran has strongly condemned a call from France, Germany and the United Kingdom for the United Nations to investigate whether Russia used drones of Iranian origin to attack Ukraine.
Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said last weekend the three countries’ appeal was “false and unfounded” and that it was “firmly rejected and condemned”.
In a letter signed by their UN envoys, the three European countries supported Ukraine’s request for a UN investigation, arguing that the use of drones violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which ratified the nuclear deal with Iran of 2015 was approved.
The US has said the alleged export of “kamikaze drones” used in Ukraine could violate the resolution, potentially leading to the automatic re-imposition of international sanctions against Iran.