The president of Iran refutes allegations of providing drones and other weapons to Russia and criticizes the interference of the United States.

Iran’s president refuted claims that his country had supplied drones to Russia for the conflict in Ukraine. However, the United States alleges that Iran not only supplied the weapons but also assisted Russia in establishing a manufacturing facility for them.

During the high-level leaders’ meeting at the U.N. General Assembly, President Ebrahim Raisi expressed his opposition to the war in Ukraine while meeting with media executives.

The Iranian leader addressed the public shortly after five Americans, who were previously detained in Iran, arrived in Qatar. They were released as part of an agreement in which President Joe Biden agreed to release approximately $6 billion of frozen Iranian assets.

Raisi, who is known for his tough stance, appeared to adopt a diplomatic approach. He reaffirmed his willingness to mediate the Russia-Ukraine conflict, even though he is a staunch supporter of the Kremlin. Additionally, he indicated that the recently concluded agreement with the United States, which resulted in a prisoner exchange and the release of assets, could potentially foster trust between these longstanding adversaries.

Raisi admitted that Iran and Russia have maintained a longstanding relationship, particularly in terms of defense collaboration. However, he refuted the claim of providing weapons to Moscow during the war. He challenged the accusers to present any evidence of Iran supplying weapons or drones to the Russians post-war.

Iranian officials have provided inconsistent statements regarding the drones. U.S. and European officials argue that the significant quantity of Iranian drones utilized in the Ukrainian conflict indicates that the supply of these weapons has not only persisted but also escalated since the start of hostilities.

Although Raisi made comments about trust, his attitude towards the United States was not entirely conciliatory as he also expressed harsh words at times.

Raisi expressed his country’s intention to establish positive relationships with all neighboring nations in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Raisi expressed the belief that if the United States refrains from interfering in the Persian Gulf and other global regions, and focuses on its own affairs, there will be an improvement in the situation and relations of these countries.

After ships near their coasts were attacked, which was blamed on Iran, the United Arab Emirates initially attempted to resume diplomatic relations with Tehran. In March, Saudi Arabia, with the help of China, achieved a détente to restore diplomatic ties after a prolonged period of strain. This strain included conflicts such as the Saudi-led war in Yemen, Riyadh’s disapproval of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Raisi cautioned neighboring countries against forming strong alliances with Israel, a close ally of the United States, stating that “establishing normal relations with the Zionist regime does not guarantee security.”

The Iranian leader was dismissive of Western criticism of his country’s treatment of women, its crackdown on dissent and its nuclear program, including over protests that began just over a year ago over the death in police custody last year of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman arrested for allegedly violating Iran’s mandatory headscarf law. As a prosecutor, Raisi took part in the 1988 mass executions that killed some 5,000 dissidents in Iran.

Raisi has attempted to depict the widespread demonstrations across the country as a Western conspiracy, despite lacking any supporting evidence.

“The Americans and Westerners are using women’s rights, hijab, human rights, and the nuclear issue as pretexts to undermine the independence of the Islamic republic,” he claimed.

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