JCPOA not on table when Iranian UAVs 'raining down' on Ukraine: DoD
The United States ignores Iran's rebuffs of the claims about its UAVs being used in Russia, putting discussions about the Iran nuclear deal on hold due to the allegations raised against Tehran.
At a time when Iranian drones are "raining down" on Ukrainian cities and when Tehran is "brutalizing" its own people, the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is not on Washingon's agenda at the moment Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said on Friday.
"I think in the near term, the JCPOA is not on our agenda, not when Iranian drones are raining down on Ukrainian cities, not when the Iranian regime is brutalizing its own people," Kahl told an event organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said during an online briefing a couple of weeks ago that he submitted a proposal to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to formally break off diplomatic ties with Tehran.
During the briefing, Kuleba accused Iran of having supplied weapons to Russia despite having no evidence to support his claims.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went as far as claiming that Russia was deploying almost 2,500 attack drones purchased from Iran.
Ukraine's accusations spiraled into the West adopting these claims, and now the United States is using the allegations as a card against Iran.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said admitted that Tehran gave a small batch of drones to Russia, but it was before the Ukraine war broke out.
Tehran's latest statements once again struck down the allegations as false, proving that the Iranian drones seen in Ukraine's airspace were not provided to Moscow as the war was ongoing.
"We supplied Russia with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine," the official Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Amir-Abdollahian as saying.
The top Iranian diplomat went on to remind how Tehran requested that Kiev provide it with proof and documentation of Moscow's use of Iranian UAVs.
Pentagon cations against deep military ties with China
Kahl also urged his country's allies and partners against deepening their military ties with China due to it posing "high risks" with "low reward".
"[C]ountries should have relationships with Beijing. That's fine. I would caution against going too deeply on the military side because I think, the risk is high and the reward is low," the Under Secretary of Defense asserted.
"[T]he benefits of relationships with Beijing and Moscow are limited," he claimed.
This comes amid growing enmity with China and months after China announced severing cooperation with the United States on important issues, such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks after a deterioration of Sino-US relations as Washington stubbornly made its way to Taiwan, breaching Chinese sovereignty through a visit made by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island.
Meanwhile, the US's biggest adversaries — China, Russia, and Iran — are increasingly teaming up in ways that could undermine US objectives.
Russian and Chinese forces began in August a seven-day-long major military exercise in Russia's far east. Meanwhile, Russia has received an initial batch of drones from Iran to deploy on the battlefield in Ukraine.