LONDON: Britain’s foreign secretary has criticized “sordid deals” between Iran and Russia, saying they threaten global security.
James Cleverly’s comments came following the release of information by the US on Friday that shows Iran has become one of the Kremlin’s top military backers.
The information has highlighted the extent of Iran’s military support for Russia in its offensive in Ukraine, which includes the provision of hundreds of drones used to kill Ukrainian civilians.
“Iran is now one of Russia’s top military backers; their sordid deals have seen the Iranian regime send hundreds of drones to Moscow, which have been used to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and kill civilians,” Cleverly said.
“In return, Russia is offering military and technical support to the Iranian regime, which will increase the risk it poses to our partners in the Middle East and to international security. The UK will continue to expose this desperate alliance and hold both countries to account,” he added.
Cleverly also said that the British government agrees with US assessments that Iranian support for the Russian military will grow in the coming months, including with the supply of hundreds of ballistic missiles.
“The UK is concerned that Russia intends to provide Iran with more advanced military components, allowing the regime to strengthen their weapons capability, further increasing the risk to both regional and international security,” he said.
“On Oct. 19, the UK, together with the US and France, raised this issue with the UN Security Council and supports Ukraine’s request for a UN investigation into the Iranian transfers, which are in violation of Security Council Resolution 2231. We will continue to hold both countries to account for this deplorable activity,” he added.
On Thursday, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat after the Tehran regime carried out the first execution of a protestor, Mohsen Shekari, since demonstrations began in September.
“The execution of Mohsen Shekari by the Iranian regime is abhorrent,” Cleverly said.
“He is a tragic victim of a legal system in which disproportionate sentences, politically motivated trials and forced confessions are rife.
“We have made our views clear to the Iranian authorities — Iran must immediately halt executions and end the violence against its own people.”