Iran says not involved in Ukraine war, not exporting arms to either side
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has strongly denied Western states’ allegations about Tehran's involvement in the Ukraine war, saying it maintains cordial relations with both sides of the war.
Nasser Kan’ani made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Monday, in a clear reaction to allegations by the United States and its European allies that the Islamic Republic is exporting drones and other military equipment to Russia to be used against Ukraine.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has clearly announced its stance on the issue of Ukraine and the ongoing war in the country time and again. Our stance is crystal clear. Unfortunately, the United States and Europe, especially the US, created the conditions that led to the start of the Ukraine war through their provocative actions,” he said.
The Iranian spokesman emphasized, “Now they accuses Iran on the basis of wrong information of being involved in the Ukraine war, while Iran has announced on frequent occasions that it is not a party to the war in Ukraine.”
“We do not export weapons to either side of the war in Ukraine and our relations with both sides of the war have been friendly,” Kan’ani said.
He also expressed regret that Ukraine has been affected by the negative atmosphere created by the West to deal with Iran in an unconstructive manner and lower its relations with Tehran, adding, however, that “our contacts are still in place."
“We are ready to help end a war, which from our viewpoint is unnecessary. However, those who accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran of backing one side of the [Ukraine] war through a futile media campaign ... are themselves on one side of this war,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Both Iran and Russia have in the past vehemently denied baseless allegations that Tehran provided Moscow with drones.
The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war in Ukraine.
Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24 with the aim of “demilitarizing” the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, which is made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Back in 2014, the two republics broke away from Ukraine, refusing to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically-elected Russia-friendly administration.
In response to the military operation, the US and its European allies have imposed waves of economic sanctions on Moscow, which has spawned the worst energy crisis in the world. At the same time, Western states have been supplying Ukraine with millions of dollars worth of advanced weapons and funds in a move that Moscow has repeatedly warned will only prolong the simmering conflict.