Ukraine pressured to cancel meeting on UAV supply to Russia: Iran
Iran says its meeting with Ukrainian officials regarding the alleged stream of UAVs into Russia was canceled due to pressures exerted on Kiev by its western allies.
Iran and Ukraine agreed to hold a meeting on Tehran's supply of drones to Russia, but Kiev canceled the meeting at the last moment, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Saturday.
"We agreed with Ukraine's foreign minister that if they have any documents proving Russia has been using Iranian drones in Ukraine, Kiev should provide these documents to us," Amir-Abdollahian said, as quoted by Iranian news agency Tasnim.
Ukraine and its western allies have long been accusing Iran of supplying drones to Russia in the midst of the war. However, Amir-Abdollahian said earlier today that his country did, indeed, give a small batch of drones to Russia, but that was before the Ukraine war broke out.
Tehran's latest statements once again struck down the allegations as false, saying that the Iranian drones seen in Ukraine's airspace were not provided to Moscow as the war was ongoing.
The Foreign Minister added that the delegations of the two countries agreed to meet two weeks ago in a European country.
However, he said "the United States and some European countries, especially Germany," asked Ukraine not to attend the meeting because the West has been using the drone issue in its policy against Iran. As a result, Kiev made a last-minute decision to suspend the talks, he added.
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.
"In a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian foreign minister last week, we agreed that if there was evidence (of Moscow's use of Iranian drones), he would provide it to us," Amir-Abdollahian said.
"If the Ukrainian side keeps its promise, we can discuss this issue in the coming days and we will take into account their evidence," he added.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went as far as claiming that Russia was deploying almost 2,500 attack drones purchased from Iran.
Reportedly, Russia is chiefly using the Shahed-136/Geran-2 type kamikaze drone against Ukraine, with many reports surfacing about the matter over the past few weeks.
The fear the drones are inflicting on the Ukrainians has pushed Kiev to further seek air defense systems from its Western allies.
The usage of drones has prompted Ukraine's allies to come together in various ways to try and help Kiev, with Turkey and the United States sending in drones and the Israeli occupation providing Kiev with intelligence on the Iranian drones being used in Ukraine.