Iran on Saturday fired back at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, saying his accusation that the Islamic Republic is arming Russia was an attempt to gain the West's military and financial support, i24NEWS reported.
Zelenskyy’s comments were made in a speech on Wednesday, in which he said Tehran's "support for evil cannot be denied" and appealed directly to Iranians, asking: "Why do you want to be accomplices in Russian terror?"
"Even though we have learned to shoot down most of your kamikaze drones... there are still hits," Zelenskyy said, adding, "When an Iranian drone kills a pregnant Ukrainian girl and her husband in their home, why do you, mothers and fathers in Iran, need this?"
Responding to Zelenskyy’s comments, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said on Saturday that the Ukrainian President "repetition of false claims" against the Islamic Republic was "in harmony with the propaganda and media war of the anti-Iranian axis."
"It is done with the aim of attracting as much military and financial aid from Western countries as possible," Kanani said. Ukraine, he added, had "specific political goals and motives behind such accusations" and was "avoiding expert negotiations with the Iranian side to investigate the claims."
Last year, the US said it had intelligence indicating that Russia is looking to Iran for UAVs.
Later it was reported that Iran had begun training Russians to use its drones, though it was also noted that Russia is experiencing “numerous failures” and technical glitches with the drones it purchased from Iran.
In September, Ukraine reported the first Russian attacks carried out using Iranian-made drones, targeting the south of the country, including the strategic city of Odessa on the Black Sea.
At the start of October, Iranian-made drones were also reportedly used in an attack in the Ukrainian town of Bila Tserkva, southwest of the capital Kyiv.
Earlier this month, the White House said Russia is looking to buy additional advanced attack drones from Iran for use in Ukraine, after using up most of the 400 drones it had previously purchased from Tehran.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry in late December also blasted Zelenskyy after he criticized Iran for providing Russia with drones, saying his accusations were “baseless”.
“Zelenskyy had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless," the Ministry said.