Wednesday , 29 November 2023

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan deny assembling Iranian drones used in Ukraine

Al-Monitor – Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have both denied assembling Iranian drones in their territories. 

What happened: Last week, Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon interviewed Russian oil tycoon Leonid Nevslin, who is now based in Israel. During the conversation, Gordon insinuated that Iranian drones used by Russian forces in Ukraine are being assembled in Uzbekistan. It is possible that Gordon misspoke and meant Tajikistan, the DC-based news outlet The Diplomat reported last week. Iran does have a drone factory in Tajikistan that opened in May and produces Ababil-2 drones, which have combat capabilities. 

Uzbekistan promptly denied the news, according to Uzbek media reports. 

The Tajik Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement yesterday denying both that Tajikistan exports military equipment to “third countries” and that drones assembled in the country are being used to kill Ukrainians.

The story was picked up by Iranian state media outlets today. 

Why it matters: The US governmentRussian news media and others recently reported that Russian forces are using Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine. Iran has denied the reports. 

Iran has good relations with Tajikistan is seeking to improve ties with several countries in Central Asia. 

Know more: Turkey has also provided Ukraine with its Bayraktar dronesKyrgyzstan, which is in the middle of a border conflict with Tajikistan, also acquired the Bayraktar last year.