US, allies discuss Iranian drone transfers to Russia at UN

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US, allies discuss Iranian drone transfers to Russia at UN

A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022.— Reuters
  • US, UK, France raised issue of Iran’s drone transfer to Russia.
  • We will not hesitate to use our sanctions: US State Department.
  • Iran denies supplying drones to Russia.

The United States, Britain and France raised the issue of Iran’s alleged transfer of drones to Russia at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

“We expressed our grave concerns about Russia’s acquisition of these UAVs from Iran,” Price said in a statement. “We now have abundant evidence that these UAVs are being used to strike Ukrainian civilians and critical civilian infrastructure.”

“We will not hesitate to use our sanctions and other appropriate tools on all involved in these transfers,” Price said.

Ukraine has reported a spate of Russian attacks using Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones in recent weeks. Iran denies supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.

The State Department assessed that Iranian drones were used on Monday in a morning rush hour attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, an official said. White House spokesperson Karinne Jean-Pierre also accused Tehran of lying when it says Iranian drones are not being used by Russia in Ukraine.

Resolution 2231 endorsed the deal between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States that limited Tehran’s uranium enrichment activity, making it harder for Iran to develop nuclear arms while lifting international sanctions.

Under the resolution, a conventional arms embargo on Iran was in place until October 2020. Despite US efforts under former president Donald Trump, who took the United States out of the deal in 2018, to extend the arms embargo, the Security Council rejected this, paving the way for Iran to resume arms exports.

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