Iran denies personnel in Crimea helping Russia

AFP , Monday 24 Oct 2022

Tehran on Monday rejected US allegations that Iranian military personnel are on the ground in Crimea to help Moscow carry out drone attacks in Ukraine.

File Photo: Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi (L) and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri visited an underground drone base, in an unknown location in Iran, on May 28, 2022. AFP


"We strongly reject this news," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told reporters when asked about the White House claim.

On Thursday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said that Iranian forces are "on the ground in Crimea" to assist Russia in its operations, adding that the personnel are trainers and tech support workers.

In response, Kanani on Monday said that Washington "aims to deviate the public opinion from the destructive role they have in the Ukraine war by standing on one side of the conflict and heavily exporting weapons and equipment to Ukraine".

The United States, as well as Britain and the European Union, has already imposed sanctions on Iran as they, alongside Kyiv, accuse Iran of providing drones to Russia to be used in the Ukraine war.

Kirby said that "Tehran is now directly engaged on the ground and through the provision of weapons that are impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine".

Iran has denied supplying Russia with weapons for use in Ukraine, and the Kremlin has accused the West of seeking to put "pressure" on Tehran with the allegations.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced that it is not a party to the war in Ukraine," Kanani added.

"We are not exporting weapons to any side of the conflict for war in Ukraine".

Last month, Kyiv decided to significantly reduce its diplomatic relations with Tehran over alleged arms deliveries to Moscow.

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