The United States accuses Iran of selling drones to Russia
The United States, United Kingdom, and France charged Iran with violating a U.N. Security Council embargo against the transfer of drones by selling drones to Russia in a heated closed-door meeting that took place late on Wednesday. This last week, Russia has carried out a number of deadly drone attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Reporters were told by both Russia and Iran that Iran had not sold drones to Russia and that they had not been utilized in hostilities.
An “expert briefing” at the Security Council was requested by Nate Evans, the spokesperson and communications director for the U.S. mission to the UN, in light of “new evidence that Russia unlawfully obtained Iranian UAVs that it is utilizing in its war on Ukraine.”
The U.N. ambassador for Ukraine, Sergiy Kyslytsya, requested in a letter to Antonio Guterres on Tuesday that U.N. specialists visit Ukraine to examine the seized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that were used to strike Ukrainian cities. About 30% of Ukraine’s power has been out since the strikes.
In his letter, Kyslytsya made note that the drones used in the attacks complied with resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council, which was passed in 2015 and prohibits the transfer of drones with a range of more than 300 kilometers.
“We have ample evidence that these UAVs are being used to strike Ukrainian civilians and crucial civilian infrastructure,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement after the meeting. “The United States began warning in July that Iran was planning to transfer UAVs to Russia for use in Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine.
In a matter that will be discussed at a public Security Council meeting on Ukraine on Friday, Dmitry Polyanskiy, the deputy U.N. ambassador for Russia, claimed that the 15-member body lacked the ability to send inspectors.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, refuted claims that it gave Russia drones to use in the conflict.
The deputy ambassador of the United Kingdom to the UN, James Kariuki, tweeted on Wednesday that Iran “had commitments not to export these weapons.”
As a result of Russian kamikaze drone attacks on power facilities on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was obliged to hold an emergency meeting to prevent what he described as a “breakdown of [Ukraine’s] energy grid.”
Russia started launching a round of assaults using explosive-packed kamikaze drones built in Iran about a week ago.
Ukraine says it has shot down 223 kamikaze drones since the first one was launched last month. According to U.S. officials, Ukraine has a success rate of about 50%, which indicates that Russia has fired close to 450 drones.