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October 9, 2023 2:57 PM IST

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy criticises Iran’s role in Ukraine and Israel conflicts

NATO | Israel | Hamas | Zelenskiy | Antony Blinken | Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on October 9 linked the assault by Hamas on Israel with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and criticised Iran over both conflicts.

Israel was caught off guard on October 7 when the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched a devastating attack.

“The only difference is that there is a terrorist organization that attacked Israel and here is a terrorist state that attacked Ukraine. The intentions declared are different, but the essence is the same,” Zelenskiy told NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Copenhagen via video link.

Iran has denied it has supplied Russia with Shahed kamikaze drones for use in Ukraine and has said it is not involved in the weekend’s attacks on Israel. Ukraine said about 1,000 Iranian-designed Shahed drone were used by Russia over the past six months.

“Iran can’t say it has nothing to do with what is going on in Ukraine if it sells Shaheds (drones) to Russia. Iran can’t say it has nothing to do with what is going on in Israel, if its officials claim the support of what is going on in Israel,” Zelenskiy said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was no evidence Iran was behind the latest attacks on Israel but he said there are long standing ties between Tehran and Hamas.

Zelenskiy urged Western unity in the face of global events.

“This is not the time to withdraw from the international arena into internal disputes. This is not the time to isolate ourselves. This is not the time to remain silent or pretend that the terror on one continent does not affect global affairs,” Zelenskiy said.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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