Showing posts with label Armenia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Armenia. Show all posts

Friday, October 21, 2022

US Admin: Iranian soldiers are in Crimea to help Russia operate drones to launch strikes across Ukraine

    Friday, October 21, 2022   No comments

The United States said on Thursday it believed Iranian military personnel had been deployed to Crimea to help Russian forces operate Iranian-made drones for attacks in Ukraine, as the West imposed sanctions on Tehran in response.


Drones were used to destroy Ukrainian power plants and other facilities during attacks apparently aimed at disrupting and demoralizing as winter approaches. On Thursday, Ukrainians experienced scheduled blackouts for the first time since the war began, as authorities sought to start repairing the damage.


“Russian military personnel stationed in Crimea are directing and using Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to conduct strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told a news briefing, referring to the drones.

"Our assessment is that ... there are Iranian military personnel on the ground in Crimea and assisting Russia in these operations," he added.

Neither Russia's defense and foreign ministries have yet responded to a request for comment. Tehran denied that the drones were Iranian-made.

The European Union announced that the members of the bloc agreed on new measures against Iran in response to its supply of drones to Russia, and Britain imposed sanctions on prominent Iranian military personnel and a company that it said was involved in supplying Russia with Iranian drones.


"Iran's support for Putin's brutal and illegal war on Ukraine is deeply reprehensible," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

A White House spokesman announced that Washington is considering imposing new sanctions on Tehran over the drones and is studying air defense solutions for Ukraine.


On Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed that the United States and its partners are using rumors about Iran's supply of combat drones to put pressure on Tehran.

"The rumors spread by American news agencies regarding Iranian drones were denied by Iranian and Russian officials," Zakharova said, during a press briefing.


She asked: "Is there a need to comment on these allegations against us and Tehran?", Commenting: "I don't think so, because all this is nothing more than a set of undocumented conclusions and far-fetched assumptions."

The Czech presidency of the European Union announced the imposition of sanctions on three Iranian individuals and an entity, against the background of "Russia's delivery of drones used to bomb Ukraine," according to a statement by the presidency.


"After three days of talks, the ambassadors of the European Union agreed on measures against the entities that supply (Russia) Iranian-made drones that strike Ukraine," the presidency said in a tweet on Twitter. The sanctions will go into effect on Thursday.


These sanctions, according to the list of the Union, affect the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, the officer in logistical affairs, Major General Seyyed Hojjatullah Qureshi, and the commander of the Revolutionary Guard's unmanned aircraft department, Brigadier General Saeed Aqa Jani. It also targeted the Iranian "Shahid" company for aerospace industries linked to the Revolutionary Guards.


"The European Union is also ready to expand sanctions to include four other Iranian entities that were already on a previous sanctions list," the statement added.


Ukraine accused Russia of using Iranian-made drones to bomb Kyiv and other cities.


On the other hand, the Kremlin denied this accusation and explained that it had no knowledge of its army's use of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine.


In parallel, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed in a phone call today with the European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that Iran's clear policy is to oppose the war and its escalation in Ukraine.


Amir Abdollahian added that the claim of sending "missiles to Russia to be used against Kyiv" is baseless, stressing that "there is defense cooperation with Russia, but it is certainly not our policy to send weapons and drones against Ukraine."


Amir Abdollahian said that Iran is trying to stop the conflicts in Ukraine through diplomacy and recommended that "the Europeans look at this issue with a realistic approach."


For his part, Borrell said, according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's statement, that "Iran's position in confirming that it will not send weapons and drones for use in the war in Ukraine is important and deserves appreciation."


On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian confirmed that Tehran's claim that Tehran sent weapons to Russia to be used against Ukraine is "incorrect."


"I reiterated to the European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell that our clear policy is to oppose the war in Ukraine," Amir Abdollahian said in a press statement.


The Iranian foreign minister pointed out that "Tehran has defense cooperation with Russia, but there is no doubt that its policy is not to send weapons and drones to be used against Ukraine."


The Iranian Foreign Minister demanded that Ukraine provide documents related to the news of the use of Iranian drones by the Russian side in the current war.

Responding indirectly to this issue, the Iranian leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, said: 

"A few years ago, when pictures of our advanced missiles and drones were published, they said they’re photoshopped pictures. Now they say Iranian drones are dangerous. Why do you sell them to so and so?"

On Tuesday, the Iranian Leader's advisor for military affairs, Major General Rahim Safavi, confirmed that 22 countries have sent requests to purchase Iranian drones.

Safavi said: "The current candidate countries to buy rallies are Armenia, Tajikistan, Serbia, Algeria, Venezuela and other countries."

Safavi also pointed out that "Iran, which used to import 80% of its military needs from abroad before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, is now producing 80% of its defense equipment."


Use of drones in Ukraine, Russian forces claim these drones are Russian drones. On Firday, they released this footage of the drones at work:




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