Friday, February 3, 2023

Ukraine confirms Iran has not delivered ballistic missiles to Russia

Two senior Ukrainian officials have confirmed that Iran has so far not sent ballistic missiles to Russia contradicting earlier western reports in this regard. Both Tehran and Moscow have repeatedly denied claims that Iran has provided Russia with weapons for use in the Ukraine war.

Mykhailo Podolyak told the Guardian Iran is dragging its feet on supplying Russia with ballistic missiles for use in Ukraine due to diplomatic pressure and political unrest within the country.

He said that Russian forces had run short of their first batch of Iranian drones – and only had enough of their own cruise missiles in their stockpile for “two or three” more mass strikes against Ukraine.

Reports claimed that Russia has sought to replenish its arsenal with an offer to buy Iranian missiles.

But Podolyak stated the deal has not gone through yet.

“Iran has come under huge diplomatic pressure and the protests have also raised pressure on the government,” he noted.

“The government is starting to lose its grip on Iranian society and their inner domestic problems are growing. That’s why they just don’t have time for dealing with Russia. It’s not their priority,” the diplomat claimed.

Podolyak said he believed talks were still under way between Moscow and Tehran on missiles and that, as part of its bargaining position, the Russian government had offered its own “cut-throats”, referring to experts in crushing dissent, to suppress the nationwide anti-government demonstrations.

“So the negotiations are ongoing, but as of today, no missiles have been transferred to Russia,” he added.

The head of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine has also stated Russia has nearly exhausted its arsenal of high-precision missiles and has so far not received ballistic missiles from Iran.

Kyrylo Budanov noted on Ukrainian television that Russian stocks of high-precision missile weapons “are already coming to an end.”

“However, as we see, they decided to go to the end, to zero, which, in fact, is very bad for the Russian Federation itself and the military there are aware of this problem,” he added.

“There is production of new missiles, but it is absolutely meager, compared to the huge number that they are using,” Budanov said, adding, “Only a few types of high-precision missile weapons are produced.”

“In reality, they have [missiles] for a few more large-scale attacks and they will reach full zero,” he claimed.

Budyanov also added that “as of now, Iran has not delivered any ballistic missile to Russia.”

Iranian officials have rejected claims about Tehran’s arms sales to Russia to be used in the ongoing war against Ukraine, stressing such allegations are aimed at legitimizing the West’s military assistance to Kiev.

In a phone conversation with Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on Friday, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian reiterated Iran’s opposition to the dispatch of weapons to the parties involved in the war which he said would only increase human losses and financial costs for both sides.

He added Tehran would continue its efforts to stop the war and promote lasting peace in Europe.

The Iranian foreign minister last month dismissed media controversy over Iran’s alleged support for Russia in the Ukraine war, adding, however, that Tehran had provided Moscow with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine.

He also assured that Iran will not be indifferent if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the conflict.

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