Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 12, 2023
Colleagues, as you’ve all seen and heard, here in this room are components of Iranian attack drones recovered in Ukraine and other locations. These are not replicas. These are the real thing. These are the weapons of war that Iran has transferred to malign actors in violation of Resolution 2231 that are being used to decimate civilians and critical infrastructure.
As just one example, on September 6th, Russia launched a drone attack against Odessa, which killed an innocent civilian and damaged critical agricultural and port infrastructure. We saw that.
There were 33 air weapons fired by the Russians, 25 of them were Iranian-made Shahed drones. The devastation of Iranian drones cannot be overstated. And this devastation has ripple effects that disproportionately impact the Global South. Because Iran’s proliferation of these drones affects the world’s markets and food supply.
And let’s be clear: Iran’s proliferation of these weapons is not just limited to Ukraine. We have brought our experts here to outline how Iran has sent these attack drones to non-state actors across the Gulf and the Levant, as well as to Russia for use against Ukraine.
Colleagues, we all know that Iran – through its support of proxy groups – is a deeply destabilizing force in the Middle East. But what is unique regarding these drones is that Iran is now spreading chaos beyond the Middle East.
And Iranian officials have made no secret of their ambition to expand the sale of these attack drones. And now, they are in Russian hands, being used against civilians in Europe. Soon, they could spread further.
So, we must continue to work together to hold Iran accountable. We are not afraid to discuss these matters in public, but we need your partnership. We need your voices.
Iran’s transfer of these drones is a grave threat to international peace and security. And it’s going to take all of us, working together, to ensure the international community does the right thing and continues to hold Iran to account.
I thank you all again for being here, and I thank you for your partnership. The display will be here, so if you have any questions for our experts who are in the room, if you want to look more closely, you’re welcome to do that. Thank you again for being here.