Friday, September 22, 2023

Japan raises concerns over Iran’s nuclear enrichment and drone supplies to Russia for Ukraine war.

TOKYO — Japan expressed concern on Monday over Iran’s advancing uranium enrichment program and the Middle East country’s suspected supplying of combat drones to Moscow for Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi raised the two issues during talks with his visiting Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, the foreign ministry in Tokyo said. A statement from the ministry said Hayashi appealed for Iran to act constructively in the matter but did not elaborate.

Get a curated selection of 10 of our best stories in your inbox every weekend.

Iranian drones have been a key element of Russia’s continued war on Ukraine. Tehran has offered conflicting accounts about the drones — first denying Iran has supplied them to Russia and later claiming the unmanned aircraft were only sold before the Russian invasion.

However, the number of Iranian-made drones used in the conflict shows a steady supply of the bomb-carrying weapons. In June, the White House said Iran was providing Russia with materials to build a drone manufacturing plant east of Moscow as the Kremlin looks to lock in a consistent stream of weapons.


As U.S. ally and a member of the Group of Seven advanced nations, Japan has joined sanctions against Moscow while providing Ukraine with humanitarian support and non-lethal defense equipment, largely because of fear that Russia’s invasion could embolden an already assertive China in Asia.

Iran’s state television said Amirabdollahian denied providing drones to Russia and insisted Tehran is focused on efforts for dialogue…