Russia tries to halt a UN investigation into use of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine

Russia tried again at the UN Security Council on Wednesday to shift the focus on the use of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine.

Russia claimed the senior UN leadership was stepping outside its responsibilities by planning to send experts to Ukraine to examine drones the US insists were made and shipped by Iran.

Russia believes that Article 100 of the UN Charter prohibits the UN Secretary-General and his staff from receiving or seeking instructions from a member state.

However, the UN legal office disagreed and provided past examples of countries asking the Secretary-General for assistance, including Russia.

Wednesday’s discussions came after British, French and German diplomats wrote to the Secretary-General last Friday urging the UN to investigate Iran’s transfer of drones to Russia, saying it violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which restricts certain arms transfers to or from Iran.

US Ambassador Robert Wood said Moscow was again wasting time to deflect attention from its egregious wrongdoing while UK Ambassador James Kariuki said Russia and Iran had been “caught red-handed violating resolution 2231.”

Some context: The resolution was linked to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and elements of that resolution, including a ban on the transfer of conventional weapons, were phased out in 2020. But the Western countries said that both Iranian drone models were manufactured after the resolution entered into force and that the transfer “has not been permitted in advance by the Security Council.”

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