MOSCOW: Russia’s military cooperation with Iran will not succumb to geopolitical pressure, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, following a report that Washington has asked Tehran to stop selling drones to Moscow.
“There are no changes, and cooperation with Iran will continue,” Ryabkov said, according to a report on Saturday from Russian state news agency RIA.
“We are independent states and do not succumb to the dictates of the US and its satellites.”
The US is pressing Iran to stop selling the armed drones, which Russia is using in the war in Ukraine, the Financial Times reported this month, citing an Iranian official and another person familiar with the talks. Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia but said in the past they were sent before Russia’s February 2022 intervention in Ukraine.
Moscow has denied its forces used Iranian drones in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Iranian Defense Ministry spokesperson Reza Talaei-Nik said: “None of the transactions (regarding drones) that we have had ... with other countries, such as Russia, have been canceled,” Iranian state media reported on Saturday.
Talaei-Nik also said several unnamed “Western and European countries” were interested in acquiring Iranian drones.
Russia began using the Iranian-made Shahed drones to attack deep inside Ukraine last year.
The so-called kamikaze unmanned drones do not need a runway to launch and explode on impact.
A White House official said in June that Iran had transferred several hundred drones to Russia since August 2022.
Also on Saturday, Iran’s judiciary said a court in Tehran had ordered the US government to pay $330 million in damages for “planning a coup” against the newly established republic in 1980,
A year after the US-backed shah was toppled in Iran, a group of mostly army officers tried to overthrow the new government.
State news agency IRNA said the “insurgents” were led by Saeed Mahdiyoun, a former Iranian air force commander, and had their headquarters in Nojeh, an air base in the western Hamedan province.
Several people were killed in clashes between the coup plotters and government forces, and scores of others were arrested.
“Their objective was to seize control of military bases across the country and target strategic centers and residences of the revolution’s leaders. However, their efforts were thwarted,” IRNA said.
Last year, relatives of those killed in the coup filed a legal petition with Iran’s International Court demanding damages, the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.
They specifically accused the US of “planning and executing” the coup, Mizan said.
The court ruled in their favor, ordering “the American government to pay the plaintiffs 30 million dollars in material and moral damages, and 300 million dollars in punitive damages,” it added.
Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the 1979 revolution.