Top British, French and German diplomats wrote to the UN Secretary General on Friday urging the UN to investigate Iran’s transfer of drones to Russia, given their conclusion that the transfer violates a UN Security Council resolution which restricts certain arms transfers to or from Iran, according to a letter reviewed by CNN.
“We would welcome an investigation by the UN Secretariat team responsible for monitoring the implementation of UNSCR 2231 and stand ready to support the work of the Secretariat in conducting its technical and impartial investigation,” the diplomats wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres.
UNSCR 2231 was tied to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and elements of that resolution, including a ban on the transfer of conventional weapons, were phased out in 2020. But the countries said that both Iranian drone models were manufactured after the resolution entered into force and that the transfer “has not been permitted in advance by the Security Council.”
The three countries would like a UN team to go over to Ukraine to investigate the matter, a UN diplomat explained. Earlier this week the Russian ambassador at the UN said that Russia would “reassess” cooperation with Guterres if a team of experts are sent to Ukraine to inspect the drones.
Earlier this week State Department spokesperson Ned Price sad that the US has “abundant evidence” that Russia is using the Iranian drones, specifically to target Ukrainian civilians and critical civilian infrastructure.
Iran has denied that it supplied Russia with drones for use in Ukraine. The Kremlin has also denied using Iranian weapons.
In addition to sending the drones to Russia, the White House said that Iranian military personnel have visited Crimea to assist with Russian operations of the weapons.
“Iranian military personnel were on the ground in Crimea and assisted with these operations,” John Kirby the communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said on Thursday. “Russia has received dozens of UAVs so far and will likely continue to receive additional shipments in the future.”
The diplomats – France’s permanent representative to the US, Germany’s permanent representative to the UN and the UK’s chief of mission to the British mission to the UN – cited “significant open source evidence” of the Iranian drones in Ukraine. They also asked the Secretary General to circulate the letter at the security council.
Earlier this week the EU and the UK rolled out sanctions on the manufacturers of the Iranian drones.