United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
July 6, 2023
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the UNSCR 2231 Report
The United States remains gravely concerned with Russia’s use of Iranian drones against Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure in its unprovoked war against Ukraine. Over the last several weeks we have seen Russia repeatedly use these UAVs in attacks that have destroyed Ukrainian public works and killed civilians.
Moreover, we have shared publicly and with the Secretariat information that Russia is working with Iran to produce Iranian UAVs in Russia. Specifically, Russia is receiving materials from Iran needed to build a UAV manufacturing plant inside Russia. This plant could be fully operational early next year. If completed, the plant would dramatically enhance Russia’s capacity to attack Ukraine and enable Russia’s ongoing campaign to disable Ukraine’s power plants, close its rail lines, and prevent agricultural goods from transiting to world markets.
The UN Secretariat has an obligation to carry out its mandate to examine evidence of Iran’s transfer of UAVs to Russia in violation of UNSCR 2231, Annex B, Paragraph 4. Unfortunately, the report released today was incomplete, as it does not fully address the recent drone violations. The Secretariat has not accepted offers from Ukraine and other parties to review indisputable evidence of these violations. This is an inexplicable lapse.
The UN must, without any further delay, send a team of investigators to examine the debris from these weapons Russia is using against Ukraine, which has been recovered by Ukraine and by the United Kingdom. The mandate is clear and requires no less.
Iranian UAV development and proliferation poses a global threat. It has implications for not only peace and security in the Middle East, but also in Ukraine and the rest of the world. I again urge the UN Secretariat to update the Council on its assessment of Iranian-made UAVs recovered in Ukraine within the next 30 days. This is a matter of life or death for the Ukrainian people, and the nation of Ukraine as an economically viable state.