London: The United Kingdom on Tuesday accused Russia of planning to give Iran advanced military components in exchange for hundreds of drones for use in the ongoing war with Ukraine, British defence minister Ben Wallace said, calling on European nations to do more to expose the deal.
“Iran has become one of Russia’s top military backers,” Wallace told British Parliament as part of a statement on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“In return for having supplied more than 300 kamikaze drones, Russia now intends to provide Iran with advanced military components, undermining both Middle East and international security — we must expose that deal. In fact, I have, just now,” the British defence minister said.
He did not provide details to Parliament on the type of military components he said Russia wanted to give Iran. The Russian defence ministry and Iran’s foreign ministry did not react to UK’s allegations yet.
The United Kingdom, along with Western allies, has been at the forefront of providing defence aid and assistance to Ukraine following the Russian invasion of key regions of Ukraine in February this year.
Earlier on Tuesday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell informed Iran’s foreign minister that Tehran should immediately halt military support for Russia.
Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia but said they were sent before Moscow invaded Ukraine in February. Moscow has denied its forces used Iranian drones in its war against Ukraine.
In a fresh attempt at winning the ongoing war and crippling Ukraine, Russia on Monday, attacked Ukraine with dozens of “kamikaze” drones, hitting critical infrastructure in and around Kyiv in what was Moscow’s third air attack on the Ukrainian capital in less than a week.
“Kamikaze” or “suicide” drones are cheaply produced, disposable unmanned aircraft that fly towards their target before plummeting at speed and detonating on impact.
The United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union have sanctioned Iranian military figures and defence manufacturers believed to be involved in the supply of Iranian drones to Russia.
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