Blinken: Iran-Russia military relations growing concern
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the development of military relations between Iran and Russia a growing concern.
“We’ve seen Iran provide drones that Russia is using in Ukraine to attack civilian infrastructure, to kill civilians. This is something that’s been going on for months. We’ve been working to expose that, to take action against it, to sanction it,” Blinken claimed in an interview with CBS by repeating claims regarding Iran’s participation in the Ukraine war through military assistance to Russia.
The Islamic Republic has, on repeated occasions, roundly rejected Washington’s allegations.
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said Ukrainian officials had failed to provide any evidence for their claim that Russia was using Iranian drones in its February-present war on Ukraine.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had also reacted to the US and other Western countries’ allegations, noting that Iran had provided Russia with a limited number of drones, but the delivery had taken place months before the war in Ukraine.
On another occasion in October, the top diplomat had likewise responded to the Western claims by asserting, “We have not sold and will not sell any weapons and drones to be used in the war against Ukraine.”
Russia has similarly denied deploying any Iranian UAVs in the war against Ukraine.
Blinken also expressed concern about the expansion of relations between the Islamic Republic and Russia, saying, “There’s an increasingly noxious relationship between Russia and Iran. And it’s actually a two-way street. Not only is Iran providing- this equipment to Russia, but Russia is also providing military equipment to Iran, including, it looks like, sophisticated fighter planes. That’s something that looks like it may be happening, which would make Iran an even greater threat if it acquires that technology. So this is something that we’ve been talking about with allies and partners around the world. That relationship is a growing concern.”
Western countries are worried about the increase of cooperation between Iran and Russia while they are supplying all kinds of weapons to Kyiv.