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Iran’s UN ambassador denies Tehran has supplied Russia with drones

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Amir Saeid Iravani on Wednesday denied his country has supplied Russia with drones for use in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters after a closed-door UN Security Council meeting, Iravani claimed Western countries were running a disinformation campaign against Iran, saying Tehran would not violate a Security Council resolution by shipping drones to Russia.

“Iran is of the firm belief that none of its arms exports, including UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], to any country fall within the provisions of paragraph four of annex B to resolution 2231,” Iravani said, referring to UN Security Council Resolution 2231 which restricts certain arms transfers to or from Iran.

Ukrainian authorities say Russia has used the Iranian-supplied drones in strikes against Kyiv and other cities in recent weeks.

Russia’s denial: Dmitry Polyanskiy, first deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN, told reporters in a news conference after the Security Council meeting that all drones used against Ukraine are Russian — not Iranian — calling claims to the contrary a “disinformation campaign” by the West.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France have called for a UN Security Council briefing “on recent evidence that Russia illegally procured Iranian UAVs that it is using in its war on Ukraine,” Nate Evans, spokesperson for the US mission to the UN said in a statement after Wednesday’s meeting.

Polyanskiy, however, said the UN Secretariat “has no mandate to investigate anything regarding United Nations Security Council resolution 2231.”

Some context:  Drones have played a significant role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, but their use has increased since the summer when the US and Kyiv say Moscow acquired Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones from Iran.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday the US has “abundant evidence” that Russia is using Iranian drones to strike Ukraine.

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