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Iran says patience running thin with Zelenskyy's accusations over Ukraine war

Iran and Ukraine appeared to be entering a new phase in their war of words, triggered by evidence of Tehran's shipment of deadly combat drones to Moscow. 
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy receives from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (L) a US national flag.

TEHRAN — Iran told Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that its "strategic patience" was thinning with his accusations about Tehran's delivery of drones to the Russian military.  

"Iran's patience will not be limitless," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani in a statement published by the government-run IRNA news agency on Thursday.  

Kanani reiterated Iran's official line of denial that it has "never supplied military equipment to any side to be used in the Ukraine war." 

The comments came one day after Zelenskyy's address to US Congress, where he rebuked Iran for being an ally in Russia's "genocidal policy" before describing Tehran as a "terrorist" government and "a critical threat to our infrastructure."  

The remarks were dismissed as "impolite" and the allegations as "baseless" by the Iranian spokesman, who also argued that Iran respected the territorial integrity of all countries, including that of Ukraine.   

An ally of Moscow, Tehran has never condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has even justified it as a response to US and NATO "expansionist policies." 

Earlier this month, Iran said its military experts sat down with their Ukrainian counterparts who they claimed had failed to provide evidence of Russia's use of Iranian drones in the war.  

The White House has maintained that Iran has continued to provide drones since the start of the war.

The Islamic Republic claims that its military cooperation with the Russian Federation was in place before the outbreak of the ongoing conflict. And in line with that, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has confirmed that some drones have been shipped to Russia, but before the war, a statement not bought by Ukrainian officials.   

Iranian authorities have also been unsettled by Ukraine's affinity with the West. Iran has over the course of the war repeatedly aired and published content suggesting Zelenskyy's imprudence in his reliance on the West and his calls for aid from Western allies. In an article only a few days into the war, a state TV website said Zelenskyy had fallen to Western "provocations" and that Ukraine will never be what it was pre-war because Zelenskyy had "blindly trusted the West."   

A similar assertion was repeated by the Iranian spokesman. "Mr. Zelenskyy should better learn a lesson from the fate of other world leaders who have invested hope on America's support," Kanani declared, concluding his statement against the Ukrainian president.

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