Russia has accused the West of trying to draw attention away from its involvement in the military conflict in Ukraine by attempting to launch a probe into alleged drone transfers from Iran.
Moscow’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Dmitry Polyansky, said on Wednesday that Russia may have to “reassess [its] cooperation” with the United Nations Secretariat if it decides to take part in such investigations.
His warning came in response to accusations that Iran has been supplying Moscow with UAVs in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which implements the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Polyansky insisted that the controversy around the UAVs had nothing to do with the nuclear deal and stressed that the UN Secretariat did not even have the authority to investigate anything related to UNSC Resolution 2231.
“We hope that the secretariat and the secretary general will not violate the decisions of the UN Security Council and will not go beyond their technical mandate and refrain from participating in any illegal investigation,” Polyansky told reporters following a closed-door Security Council meeting.
“Otherwise, we will have to re-evaluate our cooperation with them, which is not in anyone’s interests,” he added, noting that Russia would prefer not to do this, but could be left with no other choice.
The US, Britain, EU, and Ukraine claim that they have evidence that Tehran has delivered a significant number of Shahed-136 drones to Russia, with Kiev putting the number at some 2,300 units.
Both Russia and Iran, however, have repeatedly denied these accusations. Moscow insists that all the weapons it is using in Ukraine originate from its own stockpiles and that the drones used to carry out the recent attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure were Russian-made Geran-2 (Geranium-2) UAVs.
Tehran, meanwhile, has rejected the West’s accusations as “unfounded and unsubstantiated claims,” stating that it supports a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.