The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Thursday took great exception to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky telling the U.S. Congress that Iran is supplying Russia with combat drones for use against Zelensky’s people.
Iran leveled unspecified threats against Zelensky if he continues making the allegations.
“Mr. Zelensky had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless,” railed Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani.
“Mr. Zelensky had better take lessons from the destiny of those presidents of nations who depended on U.S. backing,” Kanaani muttered darkly, a comment the Times of Israel assumed was a veiled reference to the fate of Afghanistan after President Joe Biden’s mad disaster of a withdrawal in August 2021.
“Once again, we reiterate that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not transferred any military equipment to any party for use in the Ukraine war,” Kanaani declared.
Zelensky told Congress on Wednesday that “Iranian deadly drones, sent to Russia in hundreds, became a threat to our critical infrastructure.”
“That is how one terrorist has found the other,” Zelensky said, describing Iran as a willing “ally” in Russia’s “genocidal policy.”
“It is just a matter of time when they will strike against your other allies, if we do not stop them now,” he cautioned American lawmakers.
Zelensky is hardly the only one accusing Iran of shipping drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. U.S. and allied intelligence services said Russian forces in Ukraine took their first delivery of Iranian drones in August and promptly found themselves dealing with a number of “technical difficulties.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian publicly admitted in early November that Iran has been sending combat drones to Russia. Amirabdollahian claimed the number of drones supplied to Russia was “small” and Tehran had no idea they were being used for combat missions against Ukraine.
Iran’s drone shipments to Russia allegedly included both missile-carrying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and single-use “kamikaze drones” that are essentially flying bombs. One of those Shahed-series kamikaze drones was rather clearly photographed by international reporters during a Russian attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in October.
The Ukrainian military claims to have downed a large number of Iranian drones used by Russia. Last week, the United States criticized United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for “apparently yielding to Russian threats” and refusing to send inspectors to look at evidence of Russia using Iranian drones.
Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency warned on Thursday that Iran is planning to “deepen and expand the supply of advanced weapons to Russia.”
The Biden administration reportedly launched a task force this week to investigate Iranian drones supplied to Russia, and to determine why a hefty portion of the electronics recovered from drones shot down in Ukraine appear to have been manufactured by U.S. corporations.