A senior Ukrainian official on Saturday pushed for the “liquidation” of Iranian factories producing arms for Russia and the “arrest of suppliers.”
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted that Tehran is planning to increase its supply of drones and missiles to the Kremlin, despite international sanctions on firms and entities involved in the transfer of weapons to Russia.
Therefore, Podolyak said it is “important to abandon nonworking sanctions, invalid UN resolutions concept, and move to more destructive tools.”
Mossad chief David Barnea also cautioned on Thursday that Iran is looking to expand its supply of advanced weapons to Russia, during a ceremony for the Hanukkah holiday.
The warning came after the United States earlier this month expressed alarm over a “full-scale defense partnership” between Tehran and Moscow, which invaded Ukraine last February.
Tehran in November admitted it had sent drones to Russia, but insisted they were supplied before the invasion.
Barnea was quoted as saying: “We warn against Iran’s future intentions, which they are trying to keep secret, to deepen and expand the supply of advanced weapons to Russia, to expand the uranium enrichment project, and to intensify their attacks against friendly Muslim countries in the region.”
In late October, President Isaac Herzog indicated that he had shared with Washington information that, according to Israeli intelligence, showed the utilization of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war.
On December 9, Washington described an extensive relationship between Iran and Russia involving equipment such as helicopters and fighter jets as well as drones, with the latter items resulting in new US sanctions.
Moscow’s United Nations envoy Vassily Nebenzia responded at the Security Council that Russia’s military-industrial complex “doesn’t need anyone’s assistance” and said the drone allegations had been refuted multiple times.
Last week, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the Tehran regime was “striking sordid deals” with Moscow “in a desperate attempt to survive,” as it has seen months-long protests since the death of a young woman killed in custody after her arrest by morality police for her clothing.
Iranian-manufactured drones supplied to Russia have played a “central role” in attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, Britain’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday said in a statement it would not “seek permission from anyone” to expand relations with Russia.
“Cooperation between Iran and Russia in various fields including defense is expanding within the framework of common interests… and is not against any third country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.
Iran and Israel have for years engaged in a shadow war. Israel and Western powers suspect Iran seeks to acquire a nuclear weapon, which Tehran denies.