Ukraine to 'significantly reduce' Iran diplomatic missions
Ukraine is paralyzing its diplomatic ties with Tehran amid the ongoing war Kiev is facing.
Ukraine said on Friday it was reducing Iran's diplomatic presence in the country, claiming that Tehran has been supplying Russia with weapons to use against Kiev's forces.
The temporary charge d'affaires of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Ukraine was summoned" over the issue, Ukraine's foreign ministry said.
A ministry statement said Tehran's alleged supply of weapons to Russia "directly contradicts the position of neutrality, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and was "an unfriendly act that deals a serious blow to Ukraine-Iran relations."
"In response to such an unfriendly act, the Ukrainian side decided to deprive the ambassador of Iran in Ukraine of accreditation, as well as to significantly reduce the number of diplomatic personnel of the Iranian embassy in Kiev", the ministry added.
The Ukrainian authorities claimed earlier in the day that a civilian had been killed in a UAV attack in Odessa and that its forces shot down what they claimed to have been an unmanned aerial vehicle designed by Iran.
The use of Iranian-made weapons by Russian troops... are steps taken by Iran against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's spokesperson asserted.
An Israeli arms manufacturing company has decided, according to a Ukrainian media report released on Friday, to supply Kiev with air defense systems to counter Iranian-manufactured drones, which claimed by the US that Russia has obtained.
The sources explained, quoting the account of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense on Twitter, that "the deal was concluded through a Polish mediator to circumvent Tel Aviv's decision not to send specific weapons to Ukraine."
Officials in the Israeli security industry describe the anti-drones systems as "advanced defense technologies." Therefore, it is not allowed to sell to Ukraine, but the officials themselves said that "the Israeli government is not concerned with prohibiting the transaction, and prefers to ignore it."
Opposite to US allegations, Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian, in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper, did not confirm the sale of military equipment, including UAVs, to Russia. Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran would continue to avoid any steps that could prolong the war in Ukraine. Iran has avoided taking sides in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
After the Iranian foreign minister's statement, the White House declared that the US had 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.