Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian said on Saturday that Tehran had sent a “limited number of drones” to Russia “months before the war in Ukraine,” Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported. Amir Abdullahian has denied accusations that Iran supplied missiles to Moscow. Follow our live blog for the latest developments. All in Paris time (GMT + 1).
12:02pm: Iran admits it sent drones to Russia ‘before war in Ukraine’
Iran admitted on Saturday for the first time that it had sent the drones to Russia, but claimed they were supplied to an ally before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian said, “In the months before the war in Ukraine, we supplied Russia with a limited number of drones.”
Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Russia of using Iranian-made drones to carry out attacks in Ukraine in recent weeks. Tehran has repeatedly denied these allegations.
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Iran has repeatedly denied supplying weapons to Russia for use in the Ukraine war.
“During a phone call last week with the Ukrainian foreign minister, we agreed to provide any evidence[of the use of Iranian drones by Moscow],” Amir Abdulahian said.
“If the Ukrainian side keeps its promises, we can discuss this issue in the next few days and take their evidence into account,” he added.
Iran’s foreign minister once again denied that Iran had supplied Russia with missiles, saying the accusations were “completely false”.
The Washington Post reported on October 16 that Iran was preparing to ship missiles to Russia.
Kyiv says about 400 Iranian drones have already been used against Ukrainian civilians, and Moscow has ordered about 2,000.
In September, Kyiv decided to sharply curtail diplomatic ties with Tehran because of allegations of arms exports to Tehran.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)