Ukraine cut diplomatic ties with Iran and withdrew its ambassador over what it called Tehran’s “unfriendly” decision to supply drones to Russian forces.
The announcement late on Friday came as Ukraine said it had downed four Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones, prompting President Volodymyr Zelensky to charge that Tehran was undermining Ukraine’s sovereignty and its citizens.
Ukraine and the United States have accused Iran of supplying Russia with drones, which Tehran denies.
“Supplying weapons to Russia to wage war against Ukraine is a friendly act that seriously hurts the relationship between Ukraine and Iran,” said a statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
“In response to such a friendly act, the Ukrainian side decided to deprive the Iranian ambassador of its accreditation and significantly reduce the number of diplomatic staff of the Iranian embassy in Kiev.”
The message was handed over to Iran’s ambassador-in-charge as the permanent ambassador, Manochehr Moradi, is currently not in Ukraine.
Military authorities in southern Ukraine said in a statement that they had shot down the Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicle over the sea near the port of Odessa.
Упрече в України зенитниками провероного коммандування “Пивдьь” Повитряних Сил ЗС Україний збито багатоцильовий ударний БпLA иранского production “Mohajer-6” (Мохаджер-6).
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— Anatoly Shtirlitz (@Shtirlitz53) September 23, 2022
Military experts say the drones will be useful for Russia as reconnaissance craft and loitering munitions that can bide their time to identify and engage suitable targets.