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Iran Summons Ukrainian Envoy over Remarks on Drone Attack

By Nigar Bayramli January 30, 2023


The Iranian foreign ministry has summoned the Ukrainian charge d’affaires over comments made by a top presidential adviser, who appeared to link a recent drone attack in central Iran to the war in Ukraine. /

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Ukrainian charge d’affaires to explain the Ukrainian presidential adviser’s remarks on a drone attack on a defence facility in Isfahan on January 28.

In reaction to the attack, Mykhaylo Podolyak, Adviser to the Head of the Office of Ukraine’s President, said that Ukraine had earlier called upon the destruction of Iranian military production plants in order to stop them from supporting Russia’s war efforts against Ukraine.

“War logic is inexorable & murderous. It bills the authors & accomplices strictly. Panic in RF [Russian Federation] - endless mobilization, missile defense in Moscow, trenches 1000 km away, bomb shelters preparation. Explosive night in Iran — drone & missile production, oil refineries. Ukraine did warn you,” Podolyak wrote in a Twitter on January 29.

By warning, Podolyak referred to his earlier Twitter post in December, in which he called for attacks on Iranian drone plants and arrest of suppliers in response to Iran’s drone supply to Russia.

Following Podolyak’s statement, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Ukrainian Chargé d’affaires, Yevhen Kravchenko, to provide an explanation about the claims. According to the Iranian authorities, Podolyak’s tweet suggested that Kyiv was behind the failed drone attack on Iran’s military site in Isfahan.

The official representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Nasser Kanani, demanded an official and clear explanation from the Ukrainian side.

“Kanani condemned the hostile and provocative position [of Podolyak],” the Iranian statement issued on ministry’s official Telegram channel noted. It further added that the ministry found Podolyak’s opinion regarding the attack in Isfahan to be suspicious, hinting that Kyiv might have been involved in them.

Nour News, affiliated with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that Podolyak’s remarks meant an Israeli-Ukrainian “joint strategy threatening Iran’s security,” which will have “dire consequences” for them if Ukraine does not officially deny it.

In response, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Oleh Nikolenko said on January 30 that “we do not know the cause of the explosions at Iranian facilities. But as a Persian saying goes, do no evil to another, and you will not harm yourself.”

Earlier, in a statement, Iran’s Defense Ministry confirmed repelling the attack at its industrial facility in Isfahan. According to the Fars news agency, Iranian forces used electronic-jamming technologies to disrupt the operation of three drones used in the attack. As a result, one of them crashed on the roof of a workshop in the complex, causing small damage to it, the report added.

A representative from Isfahan Province in the Iranian parliament has deemed it likely that the Israeli security services were behind the drone attack. Iran had previously pointed the finger of blame on Israel in incidents involving attacks on its defence facilities.

On the night of the drone attack, there were several other incidents in other regions of Iran, including a fire at a major industrial complex in the northwest of the country, and an explosion at an airbase in western Tehran. On January 29, a fire broke out in an engine oil factory in the Shahid Salimi Industrial Complex in the city of Azarshahr, East Azerbaijan Province. The fire caused minor health issues for a firefighter due to smoke inhalation.