The United States accused UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “apparently yielding to Russian threats” by failing to send representatives to Ukraine to check out the drones that Russia allegedly employed that were sourced from Iran, according to Washington and others.
Russia has denied using Iranian drones in Ukraine and claims UN representatives do not have the authority to visit Kyiv to look into the origin of the drones. Although Iran confirmed providing Moscow with drones, it claimed the delivery occurred before Russia’s February invasion of its neighbor.
A 2015 UN Security Council resolution enshrining the Iran nuclear deal is allegedly violated by the delivery of drones built in Iran to Russia, according to Britain, France, Germany, the United States, and Ukraine. They want Guterres to send investigators to Kiev.
“We regret that the UN has not moved to carry out a normal investigation of this reported violation,” US Deputy UN Ambassador Robert Wood told a Security Council meeting on Monday on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resolution.
“We are disappointed that the Secretariat, apparently yielding to Russian threats, has not carried out the investigatory mandate this council has given it,” Wood said.
Guterres stated in a report to the council earlier this month that UN authorities were investigating the information at hand and that any conclusions will be shared with the council as soon as possible.
When asked about the pressure he was under, Guterres told reporters on Monday that the Western charge that Iran had given Russia drones used in Ukraine was being examined “in the larger picture of everything we are doing in the context of the war to determine if and when we should” send representatives to Kyiv.
Russia’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told the Security Council on Monday that UN officials “should not bow to pressure from Western countries” and that “any results of this pseudo investigation … are null and void.”
Iran’s UN ambassador, Amir Saeid Iravani, said Iran has not transferred to Russia any items prohibited by the Security Council. He also said Iranian drones supplied to Russia before February were not banned by the council and “have not been transferred for use in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.”
He described the accusations as baseless and termed them as an attempt “to divert attention from the Western States’ transfer of massive amounts of advanced sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine in order to prolong the conflict.”