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UN Secretary-General Refuses To Declare Iran Drone Use In Ukraine

Guterres' report to the Security Council on Iran's adherence to the nuclear deal will look at the restriction on providing drones and missiles, but it is not expected to accuse Tehran of violating the agreement.

The US and European powers accuse Iran of supplying Russia with drones and are demanding a UN investigation. Russia says that Guterres can only order a probe if the Security Council decides to do so, but, as a permanent member, it would likely veto any such move. The leaked report addresses Iran’s compliance with its 2015 nuclear agreement.

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An impending UN Security Council report will allegedly not accuse Iran of supplying Russia with attack drones for use in Ukraine, despite Moscow’s insistence on UN Secretary-General António Guterres to desist from initiating a probe into the topic.

According to Axios, citing two diplomats from Western Security Council member nations, Russia has strongly pressed Guterres and his advisers not to order a probe, and has even threatened to end cooperation on other issues concerning Ukraine, such as ensuring that vital global grain supplies continue.

“The Secretariat is reviewing the available material,” Guterres says in the UN report, which Axios obtained. “Any results will be conveyed to the Security Council, if appropriate, in due course.”

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Iran Drone Use In Ukraine

The leaked study focuses on Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 nuclear agreement with international powers. Part of the JCPOA is outlined in UN Resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran from delivering ballistic missiles and drones with ranges greater than 300 kilometres and payloads greater than 500 kg until October 2023.

Western sources think Iran gave Russia with the Shahed 136 drone, which has a range of more than 300 kilometres but a bomb weighing up to 50 kilos.

According to Axios, Guterres claims in the report that he received letters from representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Ukraine alleging that Iran transferred drones to Russia “in a manner inconsistent with” Resolution 2231. He does, however, state that he has received documentation from Iran and Russia refuting the charges and emphasising that any drones delivered by Iran do not breach the requirements of the treaty.

Iran has already confessed to selling drones to Russia, but maintains they were sent before Moscow attacked its neighbour in February 2022. Washington claims to have evidence of more recent weapons deliveries.

According to a spokesman for Guterres, the UN secretariat “is ready to review any evidence brought to its notice by member states that is pertinent to the report.”

“Iran, in violation of Resolution 2231, assisted Russia with drones to wreak havoc and inflict harm on Ukrainian citizens,” the US State Department stated in a statement. Russia obtained them in contravention of Resolution 2231.”

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UN Secretary-General

Iran has already confessed to selling drones to Russia, but maintains they were sent before Moscow attacked its neighbour in February 2022. Washington claims to have evidence of more recent weapons deliveries. According to a spokesman for Guterres, the UN secretariat “is ready to review any evidence brought to its notice by member states that is pertinent to the report.” “Iran, in violation of Resolution 2231, assisted Russia with drones to wreak havoc and inflict harm on Ukrainian citizens,” the US State Department stated in a statement. Russia obtained them in contravention of Resolution 2231.”

According to a UN insider, Guterres is in a scenario where both parties are arguing their point.

“Every week, the secretary-general got letters from both sides with absolutely contradicting information,” according to the source. “There was a lot of pressure coming from all sides, and the secretary-general had to tread carefully.”

According to the UN source, the US has requested Guterres multiple times in recent weeks to send warnings to Iran warning that it will suffer consequences for delivering drones to Russia. Guterres has made a series of phone discussions with Iranian authorities on the topic, and on December 2 talked with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

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Ukraine’s chief of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, stated in October that Russia had bought over 1,700 drones of various sorts from Iran and had utilised more than 300 of them, although it was unclear how quickly they were delivered.

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