First drones, now personnel: US unfounded claims against Iran continue
The White House makes baseless accusations against Iranian personnel in Crimea amid heat over Russian-Iranian ties.
Iranian soldiers have been allegedly on the ground in Crimea, assisting Moscow's forces in conducting assaults on Ukraine with Iran-made drones, according to the White House. "We assess that Iranian military personnel were on the ground in Crimea and assisted Russia in these operations," White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
According to Kirby, the Iranians in Crimea were trainers and tech support employees, while the Russians piloted the drones that did major damage to Ukrainian infrastructure. "Tehran is now directly engaged on the ground, and through the provision of weapons that are impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine," he said.
"The United States is going to pursue all means to expose, deter and confront Iran's provision of these munitions against the Ukrainian people."
"We're going to continue to vigorously enforce all US sanctions on both the Russian and Iranian arms trade," Kirby added.
Moreover, the US National Security Council said that "we expect Russia to seek more weapons from Iran, including surface-to-surface missiles."
The US' unfounded accusations against Iran of supplying drones to Russia and now having operating personnel on the ground in Crimea continue, despite repeated Iranian denials.
In July, the spokesperson for the US State Department, Ned Price, confirmed to Al Mayadeen that at least two other American fighters were killed in Ukraine and two more were captured by Russian forces.
Other than US mercenaries, other foreign fighters headed to Ukraine to aid in the war. Also in July, around 20,000 international volunteers traveled to fight Russia in Ukraine, mostly coming from European countries, according to a Ukrainian top official.
"This number is around 20,000 now. They come from many European countries mostly," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN. "Many people in the world hated Russia and what it was doing in recent years, but no one dared to openly oppose and fight them."
This comes alongside the 16,000 foreign mercenaries whom Zelensky announced will be fighting in Ukraine.
US to impose sanctions on Iran
Earlier today, the US State Department said in a statement it is committed to imposing sanctions to prevent Iran from allegedly delivering "dangerous weaponry" to Russia.
In response, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations, Saeed Iravani, told reporters on Wednesday that the accusations against Iran and claims that it provided UAVs to Russia for use in Ukraine are rejected by Tehran and considered unfounded.
"We are committed to working with allies and partners to prevent the transfer of dangerous weaponry to Russia. We will not hesitate to use our sanctions and other appropriate tools on all involved in these transfers," the State Department said.
Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied US allegations concerning suspected Iranian military sales to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.