Tehran warns West over ‘provocative’ push to probe use of Iranian drones in Ukraine

Iran’s foreign ministry rails at ‘baseless claims’ that Islamic Republic has supplied Russia with UAVs, after being accused of violating UN resolution

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani holds a press conference in Tehran on July 13, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani holds a press conference in Tehran on July 13, 2022. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Tehran on Saturday warned European countries against “provocative approaches,” after they urged a UN probe into Iranian drones the West says Russia is using in Ukraine.

In a letter to the United Nations a day earlier, France, Britain and Germany called for an “impartial” investigation into the matter, after the EU and Britain slapped new sanctions on Tehran this week.

Iran has denied supplying Russia with weapons for use in Ukraine, and Moscow has accused the West of seeking to put “pressure” on Tehran with the allegations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the current provocative approaches of the European Union and the United Kingdom to be part of a targeted political scenario,” foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani said in a statement.

He “roundly rejected and strongly condemned” the “destructive” measures taken by the EU and Britain, adding that Tehran “reserves the right to answer to any irresponsible actions and will not hesitate to defend the interests of the Iranian nation.”

Kanani repeated Iran’s rejection of “baseless claims about the transfer of drones for use in the Ukraine conflict.”

“We support peace and an immediate end to the war in Ukraine through a political process,” he added.

The wreckage of what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone downed near Kupiansk, Ukraine, September 13, 2022. (Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate via AP)

The EU and Britain imposed sanctions Thursday against three Iranian generals and an arms firm they accused of being responsible for supplying Iranian drones to Russia that have been used to bomb Ukraine.

France, Germany and Britain on Friday urged the United Nations to investigate Iran’s possible breach of UN Security Council resolution 2231.

The resolution endorsed a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that granted sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

The deal has been in tatters since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018.

Issues surrounding the Ukraine conflict “are completely unrelated to Resolution 2231 in terms of subject and content,” Kanani said.

European countries “are trying to present a misleading interpretation” and “establish a connection between their baseless claims and the resolution,” he added.

Last month, Kyiv decided to significantly reduce its diplomatic relations with Tehran over alleged arms deliveries to Moscow.

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