Ukraine’s leader has criticized Israel’s failure to provide its Iron Dome defense system, saying the attack on his country has brought Moscow and Tehran closer together.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has criticized Israel’s neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, saying that its leaders’ decision not to support Kyiv with weapons has encouraged Russia’s military alliance with Iran.
Speaking at an event on Monday organized by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Zelenskyy reiterated his call for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile technology to counter Russian missiles.
The Ukrainian army is beating the Russians on the battlefield, “but we don’t have our own Iron Dome. We still don’t have a modern and effective air defense and air defense system to protect our skies,” he said via video link.
On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksiy Reznikov, that “Israel will not supply weapons systems to Ukraine.”
Since the Russian invasion in February, Israel has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine but has halted the delivery of military equipment for fear of damaging relations with Russia.
The decision “not to provoke” Russia by helping Ukraine militarily has made possible a rapprochement between Moscow and Tehran, Zelenskyy said, without saying how.
“This relationship between them would not have happened if there had been only one political decision at that time,” Zelenskyy said. “… It looks like it was taken a long time ago – in 2014 when Russia started to attack Ukraine.”
The leader of Ukraine has repeatedly criticized Israel for not being strong enough to oppose Russia’s attack on his people.
Russia and Iran’s nuclear program?
After exhausting its own stockpile of missiles, Russia will go looking for weapons from other countries, Zelenskyy said.
“They were found in Iran. I have a question for you: How do you think Russia will pay Iran for this? Does Iran just want money? Maybe not money, but Russia is helping the Iranian nuclear program.
He said Russia had ordered 2,000 Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones from Iran, which Kyiv has said Moscow has used in its recent attacks on Ukraine.
“The terrible sound of Iranian drones is heard in our skies every night. According to our knowledge, Russia claimed about 2,000 Shaheds from Iran,” said Zelenskyy. “Iranian instructors came to teach the Russians how to use drones [in Ukraine].”
Iran has refused to supply Russia with weapons for the war.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never provided any side with weapons to be used in the conflict in Ukraine, and its policy is to oppose the use of weapons by any side and seek to end the conflict,” he said. said Hossein Amirabdollahian, Iran’s Foreign Minister.