Iran admits sending Russia drones but says before Ukraine war

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KYIV — Iran has admitted for the first time that it sent drones to Russia but insisted they were supplied to its ally before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.اضافة اعلان

Kyiv and its Western allies have accused Russia of using Iranian-made drones in recent weeks to carry out attacks.

Tehran has repeatedly denied the claims, but on Saturday Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was quoted as saying that drones had been sent to Russia before the invasion began in late February.

“We supplied Russia with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine,” Amir-Abdollahian said, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

But he again denied Iran had supplied missiles to Russia, calling the accusations “completely false”.

For weeks, Russian forces have rained missiles and explosive drones onto Ukraine’s infrastructure, as a major Ukrainian ground offensive — propelled by Western arms deliveries — has pushed Russian troops back in swathes of the country.

Kyiv claims around 400 Iranian drones have already been used against the civilian population of Ukraine and that Moscow has ordered around 2,000.

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday accused Iranian officials of lying about its drone deliveries to Moscow.

“They decided to admit that they did supply drones for Russian terror. But even in this confession, they lie,” he said.

“We shoot down at least 10 Iranian drones every day, and the Iranian regime claims that it allegedly gave little and even before the start of a full-scale invasion.”

Earlier Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesman had warned Iran that “the consequences of complicity” with Moscow would be “greater than the benefit from Russia’s support.”

Britain and the EU have imposed sanctions on three Iranian generals and an arms firm accused of supplying Russia with drones.


Russian strikes over the past month have destroyed around a third of Ukraine’s power stations and the government has urged Ukrainians to conserve electricity as much as possible.

Ukraine’s state energy company on Saturday announced additional power rationing in Kyiv and several other regions of the country.

Ukrainian and Russian forces appear to be gearing up for a fierce battle in Kherson, a southern city with a population of around 288,000 people before the conflict.

It was the first major Ukrainian city to fall to Russian forces following Moscow’s invasion.

Russia has been pulling civilians out of the Kherson region, with President Vladimir Putin saying residents must be “removed” from danger zones.

But Kyiv has likened the departures to Soviet-style “deportations”.

Meanwhile, soldiers in northern Ukraine are watching out for a fresh attack along the border with Russia and Belarus.

Guards have been scanning the horizon at a remote outpost near the Senkivka border crossing, where Russia’s 90th armored division swept in when the war started, cutting through Ukrainian territory.

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