Israeli intelligence establishing the use of Iranian-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, drones) by Russia against civilians in Ukraine was presented by Israeli President Isaac Herzog amid his three-day trip to the United States.
By Erin Viner
While participating in an Atlantic Council event in Washington, D.C., marking two years since the Abraham Accords, President Herzog made the disclosure during public conversation with former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro.
“Innocent civilians in Ukraine are being killed and hurt and wounded and are suffering from Iranian weapons,” said President Herzog.
Despite “flat denials” from Tehran, the Israeli leader presented slides “unequivocally prove that Iranian drones are participating in the war in Ukraine.”
He stressed, “Iran has kept on supplying these drones and they are attacking all over Ukraine with suicide drones, special UAVs that are meant to create havoc in large scope.”
President Herzog also discussed the matter in later meetings with his US counterpart Joe Biden.
“Through a visual analysis, the Israeli defense establishment has established that there are UAV fragments in Ukraine that are identical to those developed in Iran,” said Herzog.
Evidence provided by President Herzog to US Government officials included images of an Iranian UAV engine downed in Ukraine, demonstration of Iranian-made Shahed-136 exploding drones prepared for launch as part of an exercise in Iran in December 2021 and an engine the Islamic Republic presented at an expo in October 2014 – all of which are “identical in their structure, dimensions, and numbering” as those used against Kyiv by Moscow.
“Yet again, Iran has proven that it cannot be trusted and wherever there is killing, destruction, and hatred—it’s there. Iranian weapons play a key role in destabilizing our world, and the international community must learn its lessons, now and in the future,” said the Israeli leader, as he appealed for the world to address Iran “in the same language: a tough, united, and uncompromising language. As we are repeatedly discovering, for every hesitation about Iran—there is a price.”
Emphasizing that, “in recent months, the Iranian regime has shown the world its true colors which Israel has known for years,” he underscore, “Nobody can ignore that the Iranian regime uses violence against its own citizens and is brutally suppressing the hijab protests with blatant human rights violations.”
Other topics President Herzog spoke of at the Atlantic Conference included his vision for a Renewable Middle East and a regional alliance to combat the climate crisis.
“I believe that there will be a Middle Eastern treat,” he said, adding that, “It may take a generation to get there but we are not far away in so many issues. Take climate, for example. In my mind, if you look down the road, the region will supply energy one day to Europe, Africa, and Asia. I call it the Renewable Middle East… Today we already have an agreement between Israel and Greece on energy connectors, which will one day supply electricity from solar energy from our region to Europe. So, you can foresee enormous ideas, great ideas, and leaders in the region are very interested, and they’re looking to Israel for technological solutions.”
Later in the conversation, the President praised Israel’s growing integration in the Middle East. “This paradigm shift has also led to a psychological paradigm shift: more and more Israelis and Arab neighbors throughout the region are talking to each other, and of course in my mind the dialogue between Muslim and Jew, wherever it takes place, is always more than welcome and extremely important. And I can see for myself. For me, it was an eye-opener to be a guest at a state visit in the United Arab Emirates hosted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, where Hatikvah was played at the national palace. I intend to visit Bahrain as well toward the end of the year. The enormous amount of energy of joint projects and ideas that have emanated from these treaties is just incredible.”