Russia has launched around 540 of the drones at military and energy targets in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s espionage chief.
By Reuters and Algemeiner Staff
A top Ukrainian presidential aide called for the “liquidation” of Iranian factories making drones and missiles, as well as the arrest of their suppliers, as Kyiv accused Tehran of planning to supply more weapons to Russia.
Writing on Twitter on Saturday, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Iran “blatantly humiliates the institution of international sanctions”, before calling for the destruction of Iranian weapon factories in response.
Kyiv has accused Tehran of supplying 1700 Shahed-136 loitering munitions to Moscow, which it says have been used to hit targets in Ukraine since September. Iran denies the allegations.
Ukraine’s espionage chief said in an interview released on Friday that Russia had already launched around 540 of the drones at military and energy targets in Ukraine.
Separately, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister continues to rebuff ongoing concerns about Tehran’s supply of Shahed-136 drones and other weaponry to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres.
Earlier this month, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Gutteres that anxiety in the international community over the Iranian-Russian alliance was really a ruse to camouflage NATO’s “wrong policy of expansion to the east.” He flatly denied that Iran had supplied weapons to Russia after the invasion was launched, describing the accusation as “baseless.” Abdollahian also insisted that Iran was opposed to the supply of weapons to either side in the conflict, saying that the Islamic Republic’s only goal was to “stop the war and promote lasting peace in Europe.”
A Ukrainian assessment on Nov. 7 determined that Russia had exhausted 80 percent of its missile arsenal and was turning to the Iranians for ballistic missiles — an assertion that was also denied by Abdollahian during his conversation with Guterres.
Israel has already indicated that verified evidence of Iranian missiles reaching the Russians would reverse its policy of not arming Ukraine. Speaking at a summit in Bahrain last month, Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata warned Moscow that if Iran begins supplying ballistic missiles to the Russians for their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, “Israel will start supplying high-precision missiles to Ukraine.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have implored the Israelis to supply anti-missile defense systems to the democratic government in Kyiv, arguing that Iran’s intervention on the side of Russia necessitates a change in Jerusalem’s stance.
Abdollahian also addressed the historic anti-regime protests currently raging across Iran in his discussion with the UN Secretary-General, alleging that the US and other western nations were deliberately provoking “riots and assassinations in Iran by using disinformation and intentional abuse of international mechanisms.”
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