8 Nov, 2022 22:08
The Pentagon has no information on Iran supposedly providing ballistic missiles to Russia, its spokesman said
The US military has no evidence suggesting that Tehran has supplied Moscow with ballistic missiles, the Pentagon spokesman, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing on Tuesday. Earlier, Kiev accused Iran of providing Russia with this type of weaponry and even called for strikes against the Iranian military industrial complex.
“We do not have any information to corroborate right now that Iran has delivered ballistic missiles to Russia for use in Ukraine,” Ryder said when asked about the alleged deliveries. The Pentagon would “continue to keep a close eye on” this issue, he told journalists, adding that the US does “have concerns” that Moscow might “seek to acquire that capability.”
Ryder’s words came just days after Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podolyak, called for “strikes” on the Iranian facilities producing drones and ballistic missiles. Recent weeks saw claims about Iran supposedly supplying Russia with kamikaze drones. Kiev insists in particular that drones designated by Russia as Geran-2 (Geranium-2) are actually Iranian-made Shahed-136 UAVs. Most recently, some media have claimed that Iran sells ballistic missiles to Russia as well.
Both Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly denied that arms deliveries have taken place amid the conflict. Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian admitted that his nation did provide Russia with a “small number of drones” before the start of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. He also denied claims that Iran had supplied Moscow with missiles.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.