Kyiv has stripped its diplomatic ties with Iran over its “evil” collaboration with Russia after at least eight Tehran-supplied drones have been shot down by Ukrainian forces.
In an overnight address Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy said that the Iranian ambassador to Ukraine, Manouchehr Moradi, had been stripped of his accreditation and the number of Iranian staff permitted to stay at the Iranian embassy in Kyiv “significantly” reduced.
The notice to remove the ambassador from his post was apparently handed to the acting ambassador as Moradi was not in Ukraine at the time of the decision, reported Reuters.
“Today the Russian army used Iranian drones for its strikes. The world will know about every instance of collaboration with evil, and it will have corresponding consequences,” Zelenskyy said.
Ukrainian officials said that samples collected Friday verified drones used to target Odesa and an area in central Ukraine just north of Zaporizhzhia, known as the Dnipropetrovsk region, were Iranian-made.
“Such actions of Iran are considered as a step against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as against the life and health of Ukrainian citizens,” spokesman for Zelenksyy’s office, Serhiy Nykyforov, said in a statement.
The White House first announced in July that Iran would be “gifting” Russia hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles as Moscow’s ability to rearm its troops in Ukraine has declined.
Western defense officials later confirmed in September that Mohajer-6 and Shahed series drones were shipped from Tehran to Russia.
Both series have apparently made their way to the front lines in Ukraine as both were allegedly verified by officials Friday.
The U.S. has already sanctioned several people and entities involved in supplying and shipping the deadly drones to Moscow.