The United States has “abundant evidence” that Russia is using Iranian drones to strike Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Wednesday.
“The United States began warning in July that Iran was planning to transfer UAVs to Russia for use in Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, and we now have abundant evidence that these UAVs are being used to strike Ukrainian civilians and critical civilian infrastructure,” Price said in a statement.
The United Nations Security Council received expert briefings on Iran’s transfer of such drones to Russia, Price said, and the issue was collectively raised by the US, United Kingdom and France at a closed-door UNSC meeting Wednesday.
Drones have played a significant role in the conflict since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February, but their use has increased since the summer, when the United States and Kyiv say Moscow acquired the drones from Iran. Iran has denied supplying weapons to Russia despite evidence to the contrary.
CNN reported Tuesday that Iran has sent military personnel to Russian-occupied territory inside Crimea to train and advise the Russian military on the use of their drones, according to two sources familiar with US intelligence.
A spokesman for the Iranian mission at the United Nations said, “Iran does not confirm this claim and rejects it.”