In a phone call with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grli Radman on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated, “We have instructed Ukrainian officials to present any evidence on the deployment of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war.”
Amir-Abdollahian was responding to assertions made by some Ukrainian officials regarding allegedly supplied unmanned aircraft systems to Russia by Iran.
We have been and still are strongly opposed to war and armament on either side of the conflict, he added.
Despite acknowledging Moscow and Tehran’s long-standing defensive partnership, the Iranian official insisted that Iran had not “aided the war on Ukraine, and had not provided any Iranian armaments to Russia for application in this war.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Nasser Kan’ani called such allegations “unfounded”, which had been made on the basis of “misinformation and ill-intentioned presumptions.”
Iran, the official noted, was ready to hold dialog with Ukraine towards nullification of the allegations. Since the onset of the war, Iran has been observing a policy of “active neutrality,” expressing its opposition to continuation of the war, and emphasizing the need for peaceful resolution of differences between Moscow and Kiev, Kan’ani added.
The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that Iran 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.
Also on Tuesday, however, the Pentagon said it could not confirm transfer of any Iranian weaponry to Russia.
Speaking earlier in the month, the Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov had likewise dismissed such allegations, saying the hardware that was being used in the operation was Russian.
Separately, Amir-Abdollahian referred to an European Union foreign ministerial session that decided earlier in October to levy sanctions against 11 Iranian individuals and four entities, over Iran’s response to the foreign-backed riots that followed the death of a young Iranian woman.
Amir-Abdollahian condemned the EU’s measures, saying they had been adopted based on misinformation.
The foreign minister stated, “I had informed (the EU’s top diplomat) Josep Borrell of the issue,” and added, “My colleagues are considering [adoption] of a proportionate and reciprocal countermeasure to the EU measures.”
Mahsa Amini’s death sparked demonstrations first in her native province of Kordestan and then in a number of other towns, including the capital Tehran. Amini passed out in a police station, and on September 16, a Tehran hospital declared her dead. However, some violent extremists disrupted the demonstrations and incited violence against law enforcement.
The foreign ministers of Iran and Croatia also spoke on the relationship between their two nations, emphasizing the necessity of strengthening cooperation.