US Urges Iran to Cease Drone Sales to Russia Amid Concerns for Ukraine Conflict
US Urges Iran to Cease Drone Sales to Russia Amid Concerns for Ukraine Conflict

Washington: Recent reports reveal that the United States has formally requested Iran to halt its sale of drones to Russia, raising substantial worries over their potential use in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The request was made during a significant meeting between American and Iranian officials in Qatar, as reported by the Financial Times.

The drones in question possess the capability to execute airstrikes, thus presenting a formidable concern that they could be utilized by Russia to target Ukrainian troops and infrastructure, escalating the already fraught situation.

This appeal comes amidst the backdrop of the indirect talks between the US and Iran that have been taking place in Qatar since April, with the aim of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, negotiated during the Obama administration. The agreement entailed limitations on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the alleviation of sanctions.

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However, progress in these talks has been hampered by disagreements surrounding the sequence of actions related to the lifting of sanctions. The US seeks tangible actions from Iran to curtail its nuclear pursuits before sanctions are eased, while Iran insists on immediate sanctions relief.

The potential sale of drones to Russia adds yet another layer of complexity to the negotiations. The US could utilize this development to bolster its case for further sanctions on Iran, while Iran might view it as leverage in the talks.

Rob Malley, the US Special Envoy for Iran, conveyed the gravity of the matter during a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani in Doha. Malley underscored the US's deep concern over the prospect of Iran selling drones to Russia, emphasizing the potential for exacerbating the conflict in Ukraine and intensifying the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

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While Bagheri Kani did not offer a direct response to the US request, he indicated Iran's readiness to collaborate with the international community towards resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

The move to sell drones to Russia represents a considerable escalation in Iran's support for the nation, surpassing prior military assistance such as missiles and training. Drones' capacity to execute airstrikes magnifies the gravity of this escalation.

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As these developments transpire, the implications for the US-Iran nuclear talks remain uncertain. The sale of drones to Russia could strain relations between the two countries, complicating the already delicate negotiation process and potentially affecting the likelihood of a successful resolution to the nuclear issue

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