Iran summons Ukraine’s envoy over drone attack comments

The Iranian foreign ministry has summoned the Ukrainian charge d’affaires in the country over comments made by a top presidential adviser, who appeared to link a recent drone attack in central Iran to the war in Ukraine.

The envoy was called on Monday to provide explanations over a Twitter post by Mykhailo Podolyak a day earlier, according to Nournews, an outlet affiliated with Iran’s National Security Council.

“Explosive night in Iran – drone & missile production, oil refineries,” Podolyak, an aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, had written on Sunday, adding Ukraine “did warn you”.

Other Ukrainian officials have yet to publicly expand on his comments.

The tweet came shortly after a military factory in Isfahan came under attack from what officials said were three quadcopters armed with explosives.

The defence ministry running the site said the attack was thwarted, with the facility suffering only minor damage to its roof. State media carried footage that showed the remains of the drones, with one seemingly caught in a mesh net installed on top of the plant as a defence measure.The Wall Street Journal on Sunday cited unnamed United States officials and people familiar with the strike as saying Israel was behind the drone attack. Israel has not officially commented.

On the night of the drone attack, there were several other incidents in other regions of Iran, including a fire at a major industrial complex in the northwest of the country. Authorities have not officially linked the incidents.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Sunday criticised the drone attack as “cowardly”, saying it was aimed at jeopardising the security of the country.

Iran has so far not officially blamed Israel for the attack, but it has previously been a target of many suspected Israeli strikes amid a shadow war with its arch foe. Israel has threatened large-scale strikes as efforts to restore Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers remain deadlocked.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Western countries have repeatedly accused Iran of supplying Russia with attack drones that have been used in the war in Ukraine, and they have imposed several rounds of sanctions on it. Iran has acknowledged supplying a “limited” number of drones to Russia but said this was before the start of the war in February last year.

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