Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that he was submitting a proposal to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to formally sever diplomatic ties with Tehran after a spate of Russian attacks using what Kiev says are Iranian-made drones.
Kiev,UPDATED: 19 Oct 2022 06:45 IST
Ukraine said Russia has carried out attacks with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. Tehran denied supplying the drones. (Photo: Reuters)
By ReutersUkraine’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that he was submitting a proposal to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to formally sever diplomatic relations with Tehran after a spate of Russian attacks using what Kiev says are Iranian-made drones.
Russia on Monday launched dozens of “kamikaze” drones at targets in Ukraine, hitting energy infrastructure and killing several civilians.
Ukraine says the attacks were carried out with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones. Tehran denied supplying the drones.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Kiev was confident they were Iranian and would be willing to share a “bag of evidence” with European powers in doubtful cases.
“Tehran bears full responsibility for the destruction of relations with Ukraine,” Kuleba said at a news conference. “I am submitting a proposal to the President of Ukraine to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.”
Kuleba said he had urged the European Union to impose sanctions on Iran “for helping Russia kill Ukrainians.”
“Strong sanctions against Iran are especially important at the moment as we witness Iran’s intentions to provide Russia with ballistic missiles to be used against Ukrainians,” he said.
“Iran’s actions are despicable and deceptive. We will not tolerate them because all those actions were done while Iran told us that they did not support the war and will not support either side with their weapons.”
Kuleba said Kiev would send an official note to Israel asking for immediate air defense supplies and industry cooperation. There was no immediate Israeli response to Kuleba’s comments.
‘USE OF IRANEAN DRONES SHOWS RUSSIA IS MILITARY BANK BREAK’
The move by Ukraine’s foreign ministry came after Zelensky said earlier in the day on Tuesday that Russia’s latest attacks on infrastructure were based on Iran-made Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones.
Iran denied supplying unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia – a claim Washington says is untrue. The Kremlin said on Tuesday it had no information on whether or not Iran’s “kamikaze” drones are being used.
“Let’s keep in mind that the fact that Russia has sought help from Iran is an admission by the Kremlin that it is bankrupt in military and political terms,” Zelenskiy said in a nightly video address.
“For decades they spent billions of dollars on their own military-industrial complex. And in the end, they bowed to Tehran to secure fairly basic drones and missiles.”
Zelensky, who said the most recent strikes have shut down 30% of Ukraine’s power plants, said the use of the weapons could create hopes and illusions among Russian leaders, but it still wouldn’t help anything. “It will just show the world once again that Russia is heading for defeat and is trying to drag one of its accomplices into this terror,” the Ukrainian president said.