Iran for the first time confirmed it sold drones to Russia, but said this happened “months” before the start of the war in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Tehran on Saturday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian addressed claims by Western officials that Iranian drones were supplied to Moscow for its invasion, and that surface-to-surface missiles may also be on the way.
“Their comments on the missiles part are completely wrong, and the drones part is correct. We gave a limited number of drones to Russia months and before the war in Ukraine,” Amirabdollahian said.
Iranian officials had previously said on numerous occasions that Tehran had “defence” cooperation with Russia, but had not supplied the Kremlin with arms “for the purpose of being used in the war in Ukraine”.
Amirabdollahian reiterated that Iran has not been a supporter of either side in the war and is ready to talk to Ukraine.
“We have emphasised to Ukrainian officials that if there is evidence about the use of Iranian drones in the Ukraine war by Russia, they should present it to us,” he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday accused Iranian officials of lying.