As Iran eventually conceded that it had given attack drones to Russia, a number of the country's public figures openly criticized the government’s actions. A new conflict is brewing inside the country, The Guardian writes.
The newspaper cites a popular local cleric, Masih Mohajeri, who also works as the editor of the newspaper Jomhouri-e-Islami. He openly said that Russia was the aggressor in the war and that the supply of drones should stop. In his opinion, the government should have done three things long ago: advised Russia to observe international regulations that prohibit encroachment on the territory of other countries; told Russia that it had no right to use the drones in Ukraine that Iran had provided; and maintained friendly relations with Ukraine.
"Why did you not announce to Russia after the start of the war in Ukraine that it has no right to use Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine? Furthermore, why have you not openly condemned Russia for starting the war and why have you not made a redoubled effort to mediate between the two sides to end this evil war?" wrote Mohajeri, addressing the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Mohajeri argued that all of the above could have been done without damaging Iran’s bilateral relations with Russia.
He acknowledged that the foreign minister’s confession, albeit belated, that it had provided the Shaheds to Russia was a "good omen".
"You should not put all your eggs in the Russian basket. The least that Iran could have done in the war in Ukraine was to first negotiate with both sides by forming a mediation committee to get them to agree to a ceasefire and an end to the war," the cleric stressed.
Context. For a long time, Iran has denied that it sold kamikaze drones to Russia, which has used them to target critical infrastructure facilities in Ukraine. However, on November 5, the Iranian foreign minister finally admitted that attack UAVs had been sold to Russia, although he added that the drones had been supplied before the full-scale Russian invasion.