Iran threatens Zelenskyy over his speech to Congress and claims he failed to supply arms to Russia

Iran on Thursday attacked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over statements he made before Congress this week, denying allegations that Tehran was supplying drones to Russia.

“Mr. Zelenskyy had better know that Iran’s strategic patience with such groundless allegations is not endless,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said in a threatening message published on the ministry’s website.

Canaani also advised Zelenskyy to “learn a lesson from the fate of some other political leaders who were content with US support.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives Wednesday to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrives Wednesday to address a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol.
(Getty Images)

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The spokesman’s comments came a day after Zelenskky addressed the US Congress in an appeal for additional aid — a plea for GOP lawmakers divided over whether supporting Kiev is a national security issue.

“When Russia cannot reach our cities with its artillery, it tries to destroy them with rocket attacks,” he said. “Furthermore, Russia has found an ally in its genocidal policy – Iran.”

“Lethal Iranian drones sent to Russia by the hundreds became a threat to our critical infrastructure,” he continued. “This is how one terrorist found the other. It’s only a matter of time – if we don’t stop them now, when they will move against your other allies.”

The White House first revealed Tehran’s plans to “gift” hundreds of Shahed-136 drones to Russia earlier this year, and by August 1,000 Iran-supplied drones had been shipped to Russia.

Iranian drones have since been used heavily against civilian targets in Ukraine as Russia seeks to starve the nation of its energy resources.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Congress for additional help on Wednesday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to Congress for additional help on Wednesday.
(Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Kyiv, the US and international allies have accused and sanctioned Tehran for its arms support to Moscow.

But Iran has denied providing drones to Russia, despite claims by the US State Department that there is “ample evidence” that Russia is using Iranian drones in Ukraine.

Iran has repeatedly denied these claims.

Reports and comments from senior defense officials suggest Iran and Russia are also expanding their “defense partnership” by helping the Kremlin manufacture Iranian drones within Russia’s borders.

The White House further accused Iran of being “on the ground” in Crimea.

Iran calls these allegations media manipulation and says it has “always respected the territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine”.

Firefighters help a local woman evacuate from an apartment building destroyed by a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine.  17th, 2022.

Firefighters help a local woman evacuate from an apartment building destroyed by a Russian drone strike in Kyiv, Ukraine. 17th, 2022.
(Reuters/Vladyslaw Musiyenko)

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In July, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, backed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and suggested that NATO would start a war anyway over Russia’s occupation of Crimea, labeling them a “dangerous entity”.

“If you hadn’t taken the initiative, the other side would have done so and started a war,” he said, according to a statement from the Iranian leader’s office.

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