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Iran. Putin’s close man in Tehran

Iran. Putin’s close man in Tehran

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council and one of Vladimir Putin’s closest associates, arrived in Tehran on Wednesday, where he held consultations with Iranian officials. The talks focused on security issues, the Russian TASS agency reported.

“In Tehran, Nikolai Patrushev will conduct the planned Russian-Iranian consultations on security issues with the participation of Security Council experts and representatives of ministries and agencies of both countries,” the TASS agency reported.

The visit raises emotions due to the accusations against Iran that the country supplies Russia with drones to support Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. On Saturday, Tehran first admittedthat it sent a “small number” of drones to Russia. However, the Iranian authorities explained that they had been dispatched before the war began.

Nikolai PatrushevMAXIM SHIPENKOV / EPA / PAP

Kyiv and Western countries claim that Russia used Iranian drones to attack civilian targets in Ukraine, as a result of which about 40 percent of the vehicles were damaged. the country’s energy infrastructure.

The US announces “practical, aggressive steps” on Iranian drones

US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel announced that United States take “practical, aggressive” steps to limit the sale of Iranian drones to Russia. He assured that “Washington has many ways to bring Tehran and Moscow to justice.”

Patel said that deepening Russia’s alliance with Iran should be viewed by the whole world as a “serious threat.” Patel warned that the US would not hesitate to impose sanctions on “companies or countries cooperating with Iran’s drone production program.”

The European Union’s response

European Union will look at specific evidence of Iran’s involvement in war in Ukraine – the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs already announced in October Josep Borrell before the meeting of EU chiefs of diplomacy. – We will be looking for concrete evidence of the participation (of Iran in the war in Ukraine on the side of Russia – ed.) – Borrell told journalists.

On October 20, 2022, the Council of the European Union added three Iranians and one Iranian company to the sanctions list for “actions that undermine or jeopardize the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.” The reason is precisely the role in the development and delivery of unmanned aerial vehicles used by Russia in the war against Ukraine.

Iranian dronesMajdi Fathi / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Persons and entities placed on the sanctions list are subject to the asset freeze. Nor can they receive funding from EU citizens and EU companies. In addition, persons on the list are subject to a travel ban that prevents them from entering or passing through the EU.

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in turn that the EU should react resolutely to new air attacks on Kyiv. – What we are seeing now – Iranian drones are apparently used to attack the center of Kiev – is cruelty – he noted. Head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis estimated that by supplying Russia with drones and missiles, Iran is becoming its partner in aggression against Ukraine.

Britain imposes sanctions on Iranian generals

– Iran’s support for Putin’s brutal and illegal war against Ukraine is regrettable. Today we are imposing sanctions on those who supplied drones used by Russia to attack Ukrainian civilians. This is clear evidence of Iran’s destabilizing role in global security, said British Foreign Minister James Cleverly.

James CleverlyTOLGA AKMEN / PAP / EPA

These cowardly drone attacks are an act of desperation. By enabling these attacks, these people and the producer caused unimaginable suffering to the people of Ukraine. We will make sure that they are held accountable for their actions, added the head of the British Ministry of Diplomacy.

Britain has imposed sanctions on parts of the Iranian military command. Among those targeted by the sanctions were Major General Mohammed Hossein Bagheri, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Brigadier General Seyed Hojjatollah Qureishi, who negotiated an agreement to hand over Iranian drones to Russia, and Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, who was to reside in the occupied territories of Ukraine. to show Russian troops how to use these drones. All of them were banned from entering Great Britain and had an asset freeze in that country. Sanctions have also been imposed on the producer of the drones used in Ukraine, Shahed Aviation Industries, whose assets have been frozen.

Request an investigation by the United Nations

France, Britain and Germany in October demanded that the United Nations conduct an independent investigation into Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine. “An investigation by the UN Office team responsible for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2231 would be welcome and we are ready to support its work in the field of technical and impartial investigation,” wrote the letter to the UN Security Council and Secretary General Antonio Guterres .

UN accredited French ambassadors Nicolas de Riviere, German Antje Leendertse and Great Britain James Kariuki wrote in a joint letter that they are “deeply concerned about the transfer of drones from Iran to Russia in violation of Security Council Resolution 2231 used by Russia in its aggressive war in Ukraine. to attacks on civilian infrastructure and Ukrainian cities, they kill innocent civilians. ” Most members of the UN Security Council supported the initiation of an expert investigation on the matter under the auspices of the UN Secretary General.

Main photo source: MAXIM SHIPENKOV / EPA / PAP

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