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U.S. and Europe to address Iran's drone supply to Russia at U.N. Security Council

The officials have alleged that by providing Russia the weapons for its war against Ukraine, Iran is violating the U.N. resolution that codified the Iran nuclear deal.
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Officials from the U.S., the United Kingdom and France will raise Iran’s apparent provision of drones to Russia in a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday, a U.S. official confirmed.

The three allies — who were also members of the original 2015 Iran nuclear deal — have alleged that by providing Russia the weapons for its war against Ukraine, Iran is violating the U.N. resolution that codified the agreement.

“Iran’s supply of these specific types of UAVs to Russia is a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, and it is this issue for the U.N. Security Council,” deputy State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters Tuesday.

Patel cited a provision in the agreement that “prohibits the transfer from Iran of all items, materials, equipments and goods and technology unless approved in advance by the U.N. Security Council on a case by case basis.”

The types of UAVs in question meet the parameters because they are capable of ranges equal to and greater than 186 miles, Patel added. 

The officials will raise the issue after Ukrainian authorities said deadly drone attacks struck Kyiv on Monday morning and were also reported overnight in the southern city of Mykolaiv.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Iranian-made drones bombarded Kyiv, triggering multiple explosions and killing at least four people, including a young family expecting a child.

NBC News has not independently confirmed the deaths.

Zelenskyy described the apparent move by Russia to acquire Iranian-made drones as an “admission by the Kremlin that it is militarily and politically bankrupt. Dozens of years they were spending billions of dollars on their military-industrial complex but in the end had to go cap in hand to Tehran.” 

An Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry official has denied the claims, saying the country has a "principled and clear policy on active impartiality and opposition to war."

Russia’s Defense Ministry didn’t directly acknowledge the strikes on Kyiv. It has said it used “high-precision long-range air and sea-based weapons” to blast military and energy targets.

A senior U.S. defense official has said U.S. intelligence shows that Iran appears to have supplied Russia with hundreds of autonomous flying vehicles that explode on impact. The official also said the drones Russia launched inside Ukraine appeared to come from Iran.

Iran has denied that it has delivered drones to Russia for use in the war against Ukraine.