United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
June 23, 2023
Joint Statement Delivered by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the UN Security Council Stakeout on the use of Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Russia’s War of Aggression Against Ukraine
(The following is a joint statement delivered by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative of the United States to the United Nations, on behalf of Albania, France, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.)
Good morning, everyone. I am here today with my colleagues from France, the United Kingdom, Albania, and Ukraine to deliver a joint statement on the growing military cooperation between Russia and Iran, which continues to enable Russia’s prosecution of its brutal war against Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the United States released further information documenting how Iran has provided Russia with hundreds of one-way attack UAVs, as well as UAV production-related equipment. Ukraine and the UK also submitted evidence to the UN of Iranian UAVs recovered by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Russia has not only procured hundreds of Mohajer and Shahed series UAVs from Iran in clear violation of Resolution 2231, but it is also now working with Iran to produce these weapons inside Russia. Russia has been using these UAVs in recent weeks to strike Kyiv, destroy Ukrainian infrastructure, and kill and terrorize Ukrainian civilians. Media reports indicate just this week Russia targeted Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities with dozens of Iranian-made drones.
Russia’s and Iran’s actions violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231. That resolution prohibits all countries, including permanent members of the Security Council, from transferring these types of weapons from Iran, absent advance Security Council approval. Approval was, of course, not given.
Ukraine, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and other countries have duly reported these violations to the United Nations, and supplied the UN with additional information and analysis. The United Nations must respond to growing calls from the international community to investigate these violations.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Ambassador, the Secretary General says he doesn’t have a mandate to investigate. What do you say to that?
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Look, Resolution 2231 does give the Secretary-General a mandate to carry out these investigations, and we have all encouraged the UN to move forward on carrying out these investigations immediately.