E3 over Iranian drones: Sanctions first, proof later
While France, Germany, and the United Kingdom have sent batches of lethal weapons to Ukraine, they request that the UN look into Russia's alleged use of Iranian military drones in Ukraine, only after sanctioning Iran over the claims.
France, Germany, and the United Kingdom wrote to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, requesting that the UN look into Russia's alleged use of Iranian military drones in Ukraine.
"We are deeply concerned by the transfer of unnamed aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran to Russia in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). These UAVs are being used by Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine in attacks against civilian infrastructure," the letter said, according to Sputnik.
"We would welcome an investigation by the UN Secretariat team responsible for monitoring the implementation of UNSCR 2231 and stand ready to support the work of the Secretariat in conducting its technical and impartial investigation," it added.
Read next: UN has no mandate to probe alleged use of Iran drones: Russia
According to the letter, there is "substantial" open-source evidence, including photographs and videos, of Russia's use of Iranian military drones in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Tehran requested documents from Kiev documenting and proving Russia's usage of Iranian drones in Ukraine as part of the ongoing war, the top Iranian diplomat confirmed.
Similarly, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky said the drones used in Ukraine were Russian-made, noting that images of the drones downed clearly show Russian inscriptions on them.
In the same context, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Amir Saeed Iravani, rejected "unfounded and unsubstantiated” claims that Tehran has supplied Moscow with UAVs for use in the war in Ukraine.
This comes two days after the European Union imposed sanctions against three Iranian individuals and one entity over claims of developing and delivering Iranian drones to Russia to use against Ukraine, albeit without providing proof to substantiate the claims.
The EU added to its sanctions "blacklist" Iranian drone maker Shahed Aviation Industries, the current chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces Major General Mohammed Hossein Bagheri, logistics officer General Sayed Hojatollah Qureishi, and the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps drone program Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani.
US to impose sanctions on Iran and Russia despite no proof of UAV sale
The US State Department said in a statement that it is committed to imposing sanctions to prevent Iran from allegedly delivering "dangerous weaponry" to Russia.
Earlier, in July of this year, the White House declared that the US has no evidence of an Iran-Russia sale of UAV drones. It further noted that no signs of purchase have been observed even weeks after the US claimed that Russia is buying drones from the US.
John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson, attempted to minimize the scale of this intelligence media stunt by stating that the White House has not seen any deal “that has been actually affected,” adding, “We’ve seen no indications of any sort of actual delivery and/or purchase of Iranian drones by the Russian Ministry of Defense.”
This is all happening as Germany, the biggest European contributor to Kiev's military, has recently pledged an additional 200 million euros ($199.02 million) for Ukraine.
Germany is Ukraine's biggest European backer, with Berlin continuing to transfer weaponry to Ukraine that even its own forces do not have.
Also, Ukraine has recently signed an agreement over security and defense grants with France. The deal is reportedly meant to “assist Ukraine's forces in boosting its military capabilities against Russia and set an initial aid amount of €100 million”.
Paris has already provided Ukraine with 18 self-propelled 155-mm caliber artillery units CAESAR from the army's reserves and is planning to send air defense radars, systems, and missiles to Ukraine.
Moreover, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September, outgoing UK Prime Minister Liz Truss reiterated the UK's long-term commitment to the war in Ukraine, vowing to send at least £2.3 billion ($2.6 billion) in military supplies in 2023.