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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

European countries urge UN probe of Iran drones in Ukraine

Western countries have accused Iran of supplying drones that Moscow is using to carry out strikes in Ukraine, and the White House said Thursday that Iranian personnel was on the ground in Crimea helping Russian forces conduct drone attacks.

France, Britain and Germany called Friday in a letter to the United Nations for an “impartial” investigation into Iranian drones the West says Russia is using in the war in Ukraine.

“We would welcome an investigation by the UN Secretariat team responsible for monitoring the implementation of UNSCR 2231,” the UN ambassadors of the three countries wrote.

Read more: US accuses Iranian military trainers of aiding Russian drone attacks

UN Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsed the international agreement that provided for sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program — a deal that was later scrapped by then-US president Donald Trump.

In their letter, which was addressed to the Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the ambassadors said they would “stand ready to support the work of the Secretariat in conducting its technical and impartial investigation.”

They added that they were “deeply concerned by the transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran to Russia in violation” of the resolution.

“These UAVs are being used by Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine in attacks against civilian infrastructure and cities across Ukraine, leading to the death of innocent civilians,” they wrote.

French ambassador to the UN Nicolas de Riviere called on Iran “to immediately cease all forms of support to Russia’s aggression on Ukraine.”

Read more: EU plans fresh sanctions on Iran for supplying drones to Russia

Western countries have accused Iran of supplying drones that Moscow is using to carry out strikes in Ukraine, and the White House said Thursday that Iranian personnel was on the ground in Crimea helping Russian forces conduct drone attacks.

However, Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, called the charges “another fake (news) about the alleged supplies to Russia… We reject any attempts to involve the UN secretariat in this dirty undertaking.”

Iran also strongly rejected the drone allegations at the United Nations earlier in the week.