Iran Supreme Leader: Ukraine ‘Victim of Crises Created by US’, Washington 'Cannot Be Trusted’
Russia launched a special military operation to "demilitarise and denazify" Ukraine after weeks of attacks by Kiev forces against the Donbass republics, DPR and LPR, forced them to seek help from the Kremlin. However, the US, its allies in Europe and Asia slammed the Russian operation as an "invasion", increasing sanctions pressure on Moscow.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei weighed in on the developments in Ukraine, where Russia is conducting a special military operation aimed at demilitarising and denazifying the country, saying that Kiev had become a "victim of the crises created by the United States".
“In my opinion, Ukraine has also become a victim of this policy [by the US]. Today, the affairs of Ukraine are also connected with this US policy. The US has brought Ukraine to this point," the supreme leader said, as quoted by the Tasnim news agency.
In a televised speech, Iran's top political authority emphasised that the Ukraine crisis was glaring proof, yet again, that "the United States cannot be trusted".
He underscored that Iran supports the end to the war in Ukraine, but highlighted the importance of acknowledging the roots of the conflict.
The Russian military and its Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic allies launched an operation in Ukraine on 24 February amid unceasing attacks by the Ukrainian military and nationalist units of the Ukrainian National Guard targeting the Donbass with artillery, mortar and sniper fire. The goal of Russia’s forces is to defend the population of DPR and LPR from a "genocide" of the Russian-speaking population.
Earlier, on 21 February, amid a Ukrainian military buildup near Donbass and reports of hundreds of violations of the ceasefire by OSCE observers, Russia formally recognised the Donbass breakaways as independent republics. In response, the US and its allies have responded by ramping up military assistance to Ukraine, heavily sanctioning Russian government officials, banks and businessmen.
On Sunday, EU Foreign Ministers also agreed to supply 450 million euros ($500 million) worth of arms to the Kiev forces, including 50 million euros for non-lethal supplies, such as fuel and protective equipment, and fighter jets.
The US, Canada and Australia have also approved lethal defensive assistance to Ukraine, with Joe Biden promising a $350 million package of military assistance to Kiev, including more Javelin anti-tank missiles.