(CNSNews.com) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s characterization during his speech to the U.S. Congress of Russia and Iran as two colluding terrorist states angered the regime in Tehran, which warned Thursday that its “strategic patience” with Kyiv’s accusations was not endless.
Foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani repeated Iran’s rejection of what he called “hackneyed” allegations by Kyiv and the U.S. and its allies, that Iran has supplied large numbers of armed drones to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine.
Iran has not supplied any military hardware to any side for use in the Ukraine war, Kanaani declared.
“We have always respected the territorial integrity of other countries, including Ukraine. Mr. Zelenskyy should know that Iran may run out of strategic patience regarding such unsubstantiated accusations.”
“Mr. Zelenskyy had better learn lessons from the fate of certain leaders of countries that relied upon support from the U.S.,” Kanaani added, without elaborating.
He also described Zelenskyy’s remarks regarding Iran as “discourteous.”
With increasing frequency as seasonal temperatures began to drop, Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure has been repeatedly targeted by Russian forces using missiles and explosive-laden drones, leaving millions without power at times.
In his address to U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday night, Zelenskyy said, “When Russia cannot reach our cities with its artillery, it tries to destroy them with missile attacks. More than that, Russia found an ally in this genocidal policy – Iran.”
“Iranian deadly drones sent to Russia in hundreds, in hundreds, became a threat to our critical infrastructure. That is how one terrorist has found the other,” he said. “It is just a matter of time when they will strike against your other allies, if we do not stop them now. We must do it.”
Towards the end of his speech, Zelenskyy referred again to the drones and their alleged origin.
“In two days, we will celebrate Christmas, maybe candlelit – not because it is more romantic, but because there will be no electricity,” he said. “Millions won’t have neither heating nor running water. All of this will be the result of Russian missile and drone attacks on our energy infrastructure.”
“If they attack us with Iranian drones and our people will have to go to bomb shelters on Christmas Eve, Ukrainians will still sit down at a holiday table and cheer up each other,” Zelenskyy said, adding that every Ukrainian’s Christmas wish was the same, for “victory – only victory.”
The U.S. government first accused Iran of providing Russia with combat drones in July, a charge denied by both Russia and Iran.
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian conceded that the regime had provided the Russians with a small number of drones, but said that was before the invasion began in February.
In October, Ukraine urged U.N. secretary-general Antonio Guterres in writing to send experts to Ukraine “at the earliest possible opportunity to inspect recovered Iranian-origin unmanned aerial vehicles.”
The U.S. and others including Britain, France, and Germany backed the request, but Russia said the secretariat had no authority or mandate to take the step.
Guterres has taken no action, and at a U.N. Security Council meeting early this week, a U.S. diplomat accused the secretary-general of “apparently yielding to Russian threats” by not sending a team to investigate.
“We are disappointed that the secretariat, apparently yielding to Russian threats, has not carried out the investigatory mandate this council has given it,” said U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood. “There must be some degree of accountability for openly violating resolutions of this council.”
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