Russia’s alleged use of Iranian-made drones in recent attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, along with threats of retaliation and sanctions from the West, has drawn condemnation from Kyiv and its allies.
On October 10, Russia launched widespread attacks across Ukraine, targeting what Moscow called “critical infrastructure.” A second wave of strikes on October 17 caused even more damage, hitting energy facilities deep within Ukrainian territory.
On October 18, officials in Kyiv said the strike had destroyed 30% of Ukraine’s power plants, causing blackouts across the country.
Ukrainian officials also claim that the Russian attack featured the use of Iranian-made “suicide drones,” which carry small warheads that detonate when they reach their targets.
It wasn’t the first time such claims were made. Last month, Ukraine disqualified Iran’s ambassador to Kyiv amid allegations that Tehran was supplying Russia with advanced Shahed-type unmanned aerial vehicles.
Both Tehran and Moscow deny claims that Russian forces are using Iranian drones to attack Ukrainian targets.
When asked directly about the issue, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Oct. 18 that the ongoing Russian operation in Ukraine relied solely on “Russian equipment with Russian nomenclature.” said that
On the same day, Nasser Kanani, spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, similarly dismissed the allegations as “unfounded.”
Kanaani said the allegations were based on “biased positions” and “conspiracies” by anti-Iranian media outlets, quoted by Iran’s IRNA news agency.
call for sanctions
But Russia and Iran’s denials do not seem to satisfy Ukraine and its Western allies.
Kyiv has invited UN experts to claim it shot down an Iranian drone, but several EU foreign ministers have called for sanctions on Tehran over alleged drone transfers to Russia. ing.
Earlier this week, a spokesman for the US State Department warned that if Iran was found to be supplying drones to Russia, this would violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Adopted in 2015, the resolution provided the framework for a 2015 deal between Iran and six major powers, including the United States, to curb Iran’s uranium enrichment activities.
The US withdrew from the deal in 2018, but Western diplomats say the resolution contains restrictions on Iran’s exports of certain military technology, including combat drones.
The US, UK and France will raise the issue at a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on October 19.
Meanwhile, NATO has announced plans to provide Ukraine with advanced air defense systems in response to the latest Russian attack.
On October 18, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, “NATO will provide anti-drone systems in the coming days to counter certain drone threats, including those from Iran.
Tensions between Russia and Israel
Claims that Russia is using Iranian drones in Ukraine could even lead to a policy shift by Israel, Iran’s chief enemy in the region.
On October 16, Israel’s Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Nachman Shai, urged Israel to step up its military support to Kyiv. To date, Israeli contributions to the Ukrainian war effort have been largely limited to non-lethal equipment.
Responding to US media allegations that Iran was supplying Russia with drones and ballistic missiles, Shai tweeted: “There is no longer any doubt as to where Israel should stand in this bloody conflict. ‘ said.
“It’s time for Ukraine to receive military aid [from Israel] “Just like the US and NATO countries offer,” he added.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, responded to Shai’s appeal by saying such a move would be “extremely reckless” and “destroy diplomatic relations between the two countries.”
New tensions between Russia and Israel reflect fears of what is believed to be deepening relations between Russia and Tehran.
Those concerns were exacerbated in mid-September when Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a formidable bloc of Eurasian nations. The world’s largest regional bloc, the SCO, was founded by Moscow and Beijing in 2001 to act as a bulwark against US regional influence.
Notably, both Iran and Russia support the Assad regime in Syria, and Israel has technically been at war since its founding in 1948.
In recent months, Israel has stepped up attacks on Syrian targets, including Iranian military assets deployed in Syria. Israel says the attack is aimed at preventing Iranian arms shipments from reaching Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.
In August, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov condemned what he described as a “dangerous practice” by Israel after it attacked several points in Syria near Russian military bases.
Reuters contributed to this report.