(Photo Credit: Iranian Army via AP)
On 8 October, Ukraine started the process to expel Iranian students from the country in response to Tehran’s alleged exports of weaponized drones to Moscow, according to a Middle East Eye correspondent.
Several Iranian students claimed that Ukrainian immigration officials refused to renew their student visas due to Iran’s arms exports to Russia.
“The immigration officer behaved very angrily with us and told us our visa wouldn’t get extended because of the drones and the military officers your country sends to train Russians,” said Farid, an Iranian student.
“You should be responsible for your government’s activity,” the official told the student.
Immigration officials insisted that the students leave Ukraine within the next 10 days, which was followed by an apology from the Iranian embassy to the students, which claimed there was no solution to resolve the issue.
“The immigration officer looked right into my eyes and said you are being rejected because you are Iranian and your country has given drones to Russia,” said another student.
According to the eyewitness, a number of students were taken to Ukraine’s national security department for interrogation.
The option to continue their studies via online courses was also denied to the students.
Washington claimed that Moscow was in possession of drones manufactured in Iran back in August. These allegedly include the Mohajer-6, which can carry four precision-guided missiles, and the Shahed series, known to be a suicide drone that has the capability to stay in the air for an extended period of time.
On 8 September, the US Treasury Department imposed a new round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, targeting one person and four entities allegedly involved in coordinating military flights to transport the drones to Russia.
US officials accused Safiran Airport Services, Paravar Pars Company, Design and Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines, and Baharestan Kish Company of “being involved in the research, development, production, and procurement of Iranian drones.
The new round of punitive sanctions was issued on the same day Iranian military officials announced that the Islamic Republic had achieved self-sufficiency in the production of drones.