The US says Iran has abandoned the hollow veil of neutrality vis-à-vis the Russian invasion of Ukraine and openly supports President Vladimir Putin in his war against the Ukrainians. 

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Wednesday that “it was... striking to hear the supreme leader, in really no uncertain terms, essentially endorsing President Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.”

He said, “It was especially striking because Iran all this time had attempted to maintain a veil of neutrality," pretending to be opposed to the war. “It’s now clear that was entirely hollow.”

Price also said that Russia having to seek out UAV technology from Iran means that it does not have the indigenous ability to produce it because of the export controls and other measures that the US imposed, which indicates its isolation. “The fact that President Putin would need to run into the arms of one of the most heavily sanctioned, one of the most isolated countries in the world, I think, speaks to the dire straits Moscow currently finds itself in.”

Iran has a choice. It can continue to opt for a position of relative dependency on a country like Russia, or it can choose the path of diplomacy, and specifically it can choose to take up the deal that’s been on the table for some time now, to have an economic relationship with other countries around the world, Price said. 

Earlier on Wednesday, US defense officials as well as the head of US Central Intelligence Agency warned Iran against providing military drones to Russia.

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