Iran on Thursday wavered President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky in connection with comments he made in Congress this week and denied allegations that Tehran supplied drones to Russia.
“Mr. Zelensky better know that Iran’s strategic patience with regard to such baseless accusations is not infinite,” said the press secretary of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanaani, in a threatening message posted on the ministry’s website.
Kanaani also advised Zelensky to “learn a lesson from the fate of some other political leaders who were satisfied with US support.”
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The spokesman’s comments came a day after Zelensky appealed to the US Congress for more help – a plea directed at Republican lawmakers who are divided over whether support for Kiev is a matter of national security.
“If Russia cannot reach our cities with artillery, it tries to destroy them with missile strikes,” he said. “Moreover, Russia has found an ally in its policy of genocide – Iran.
“Iran’s deadly drones, sent by the hundreds to Russia, have become a threat to our critical infrastructure,” he continued. “This is how one terrorist found another. It’s only a matter of time before they strike at your other allies if we don’t stop them now.”
The White House first revealed Tehran’s plans to “gift” hundreds of Shahed-136 drones to Russia earlier this year, and by August 1,000 of the Iranian-supplied drones had been shipped to Russia.
Since then, Iranian drones have been used extensively against civilian targets in Ukraine as Russia seeks to starve the nation of its energy resources.
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Kyiv, the United States and international allies blamed Tehran and imposed sanctions for supporting Moscow with weapons.
But Iran denies providing drones to Russia, despite the US State Department’s claims of “abundant evidence that Russia is using Iranian drones in Ukraine.”
Iran has repeatedly denied these claims.
Reports and comments from senior Defense Department officials Iran and Russia are also believed to be expanding their “defense partnership” by helping the Kremlin produce Iranian drones inside Russia.
The The White House also blamed Iran is “directly involved on the ground” in Crimea.
Iran calls these accusations manipulation of the media and said that it has “always respected the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine.”
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In July, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei backed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and suggested that NATO would go to war anyway over Russia’s occupation of Crimea, calling it a “dangerous entity.”
“If you didn’t take the initiative, the other side would do it and start a war,” he said, according to a statement from the Iranian leader’s office.