Zelensky accuses Iran of lying over Russia support

Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has accused Iran of “lying” and “terrorist cooperation” by supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.

It comes after Iran admitted for the first time it had supplied drones to Moscow, but only before the invasion.

The West believed Russia had used Iranian “kamikaze” drones to hit key infrastructure sites in Ukraine, but Iran and Moscow previously denied it. Blackouts have hit much of Ukraine after the attacks on power stations.

Western officials have accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia and of providing personnel on the ground to train Russian drone pilots.

Previously, Tehran denied the accusations, but on Saturday, Iran’s foreign minister said a small number of the vehicles had been sent to Moscow.

“We provided a limited number of drones to Russia many months prior to the Ukraine war,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters in Tehran.

However, in an address on his Telegram channel, President Zelensky accused Iran of lying “even in this confession”.

The 44-year-old claimed that Ukraine was shooting down about 10 Iranian drones every day, despite Iran saying it had only supplied Russia with a small number.

MrZelensky warned Iran about its support for Russia, saying this would backfire.

“We know for sure that Iranian instructors taught Russian terrorists how to use drones, and Tehran is generally silent about it.

“And if Iran continues lying about the obvious, it means that the world will make even more efforts to investigate the terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes, and what Russia is paying Iran for such cooperation.

“There will be no such thing in the modern world that any of the terrorists or their accomplices will remain unpunished.”

The United States (US), European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) have all imposed sanctions on Iran for supplying drones to Russia for use in the conflict.

Russia had used the “kamikaze” drones – named after the Japanese suicide pilots in World War Two because they get destroyed on impact – to hit critical infrastructural sites across Ukraine.

As a consequence, rolling blackouts and restrictions on electricity use have been imposed just as the weather turns cold for winter. -BBC

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