Ukraine and US accuse Iran of supplying drones to Russia
The Ukrainian government announced on Friday, September 23, that it would reduce the level of its diplomatic ties with Iran in response to Tehran’s decision to provide Russian forces with drones. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy referred to this decision as “a collaboration with evil.”
According to Zelenskiy, there have been a total of eight unmanned aerial vehicles made in Iran that have been destroyed so far in the conflict.
Iran has denied the allegations that it has provided Russia with drones, which were made by Ukraine and the United States.
“Today, Russian military operations were carried out with the assistance of Iranian drones…. The world will know about every instance of collaboration with evil, and there will be consequences corresponding to it,” Zelenskiy said in a late night video address.
On Friday, military authorities in southern Ukraine issued a statement claiming that they had shot down four unmanned aerial vehicles of the type Shahed-136 “kamikaze” while they were flying over the water near the port of Odesa.
According to a report in the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, the air force issued a separate statement in which it stated that it had successfully shot down a Mohajer-6, a larger Iranian drone.
Earlier, the Ukrainian ministry of foreign affairs stated that the supply of drones had dealt a significant blow to the country’s relations with Ukraine.
According to a statement that was published on the Ukrainian government’s website, “In response to such an unfriendly act, the Ukrainian side has decided to deprive the ambassador of Iran of his accreditation and also to significantly reduce the number of diplomatic staff at the Iranian embassy in Kyiv.” This was said in the statement.
Since the permanent envoy, Manouchehr Moradi, is not present in Ukraine at the present time, the message was delivered to the acting ambassador.
The drones, according to those with expertise in the military, would be useful to Russia for reconnaissance as well as for use as loitering munitions that can bide their time in order to locate and engage appropriate targets.
In August, a senior official with the US administration stated that Russia has experienced “numerous failures” with Iranian-made drones that it has purchased from Tehran.