United Nations, June 24 (Xinhua) — The United States, Britain and France on Friday asked the United Nations to urgently investigate reports that Russia used hundreds of Iranian-supplied drones in the Ukraine war, which would violate U.N. sanctions. But it was unclear whether the U.N. would do so in the face of strong opposition from Russia.
Russia has denied using Iranian drones, despite overwhelming evidence that they have been used to attack Ukrainian cities.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield noted that the U.S. released further information this month documenting that Iran had provided hundreds of drones, as well as equipment that could be used in its production. She said Ukraine and the United Kingdom had also presented to the United Nations evidence of Iranian drones recovered by the Ukrainian military.
“This is a matter of life and death for the Ukrainian people,” the U.S. ambassador told the U.N. Security Council after issuing a statement calling for an investigation, which was also signed by Albania and Ukraine.
The five countries accused Russia of violating a Security Council resolution that ratified the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the six major powers by not only procuring hundreds of Mohajer and Shahed drones, but also cooperating with Iran to produce drones in Russia.
The 2015 resolution prohibits all countries from transferring such weapons from Iran without the prior approval of the Security Council, which has not been granted, the statement said.
“Russia has been using these drones in recent weeks to strike Kiev, destroy Ukrainian infrastructure, and kill and terrorize Ukrainian civilians,” the U.S. and its allies said. “The United Nations must respond to growing calls from the international community to investigate these violations voice.”
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan al-Haq said the U.N. secretariat, led by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, was still analyzing reports it had received about “alleged Iranian transfers of unmanned Aircraft” information.
He said Guterres was expected to submit a report soon, to be discussed by experts from the committee monitoring the resolution’s implementation this month and by the 15-member Security Council in July. Russia is one of five permanent members with veto power.
Thomas Greenfield told reporters the resolution authorizes the secretary-general to launch an investigation. Harker did not say whether Guterres would do so.
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council that Ukraine had not provided Russia or Iran with “a shred of credible evidence” about the use of Iranian drones.
“We hope the secretary-general will be wise enough not to be misled by our former Western partners,” Nebenzia said. (Associated Press)
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