US says Iran may ‘contribute’ to Ukraine war crimes

MEXICO CITY—The Biden administration said on Monday that Iran’s sale of deadly drones to Russia for use in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine may be “contributing to widespread war crimes.” said to mean

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan leveled his accusations against Iran Monday to reporters accompanying President Joe Biden during a visit to Mexico. While not suggesting a policy shift, the accusations represented some of the sharpest US rhetoric against Iran since it began arming Russia to support its nearly year-long war in Ukraine. The United States and its European partners face the challenge of physically blocking the arms transfers Russia is increasingly relying on, and are seeking to further ostracize them in the courts of public opinion. .

Sullivan said Iran “chose to follow the path where their weapons are being used to kill Ukrainian civilians, trying to plunge the city into cold and darkness. From our perspective, “Iran is in a place where it has potential,” he said. complicit in a wide range of war crimes. ”

Sullivan cited European and U.S. sanctions against Iran, implemented after the U.S. exposed Iran’s arms sales to Russia last year, as an example of how they are trying to “make those deals more difficult.” However, he admitted that “the way they actually physically perform them makes it difficult to physically stop them.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that the United States is already providing funding, expertise and other logistical support to Ukrainian and international investigators investigating war crimes allegations. He said these investigations could extend well beyond Russia’s actions.

“In the course of that work, if we are in a position to determine that the entire Iranian government or senior Iranian officials are complicit in or responsible for war crimes, we will seek to hold them accountable,” he told reporters. told to .

Colleen Long and Zeke Miller

Associated Press