The White House said Thursday that Russia is using Iranian drones launched from Crimea to attack Ukrainian forces, and that Iranian forces are in the area.
John Kirby, communications coordinator for the National Security Council, told reporters that Iranian personnel were in Crimea, evidence of Tehran’s involvement in the war.
“We can confirm that Russian military personnel based in Crimea are operating Iranian UAVs and are using them to carry out attacks across Ukraine, including attacks against Kyiv,” Kirby said. . Said Reporter. He was referring to unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones.
Kirby did not provide direct evidence for his claims.
“Iranian military personnel were on the ground in Crimea to support these operations,” he added. “Russia has received dozens of UAVs to date and will likely continue to receive additional shipments.”
This meant that the Iranian government was “directly involved” in the months-long war, but said there were “relatively few” Iranians on the peninsula. Merged.
Kirby said the United States was concerned that Russia might seek to acquire Iran’s surface-to-surface missiles and other weapons for use in the Ukraine conflict. At the same time, he accused Iran and Russia of lying about their relationship.
“Iran and Russia can lie to the world, but they cannot hide the facts. Here are the facts: Tehran is now directly involved on the ground,” he said.
There was no immediate public reaction to the US claims from Tehran. Russia’s Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have also not issued public comments on the allegations.
Kirby indicated that at this time he does not believe there is a need to continue negotiations with Iran about returning to President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
“We are so far removed from Iran in terms of returning to the deal that we are not focusing on that at the moment. [Iran nuclear deal] It was supposed to cover. We are not focused on diplomacy at this time,” he said.
statement issued The UK Foreign Office said on Thursday that Britain had issued new sanctions on Iran over its use of drones in Ukraine.
“These cowardly drone attacks are a desperate act. By enabling these strikes, these individuals and manufacturers have caused immeasurable suffering to the people of Ukraine. We will ensure that we are held accountable,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverley said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.