Iran on Saturday criticized Ukraine's decision to downgrade its diplomatic ties with Tehran, vowing an "appropriate" response.
In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Kyiv’s decision was spurred by "unconfirmed reports" and the "creation of media space" by foreigners, alluding to the US.
Kyiv on Friday announced the downgrading of its ties with Iran and stripped the Iranian envoy in Kyiv of his accreditation over Tehran’s alleged decision to supply drones to Russia amid the war in Ukraine.
The decision came after Ukrainian forces battling the Russian-launched war, which marked seven full months on Saturday, claimed to have downed four Iranian-made Kamikaze drones used by Russian forces.
For months Ukraine and its Western allies have accused Tehran of supplying unmanned aerial devices to Russia, with Iranian officials issuing firm denials.
“Supplying Russia with weapons to wage war against Ukraine is an unfriendly act that deals a serious blow to relations between Ukraine and Iran,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Citing what he called Tehran’s "active neutrality" in the conflict, Kanaani stressed Iran’s opposition to the war and the need for a "political settlement.”
He added that Iran will respond "appropriately" to Ukraine's decision while urging Kyiv to "avoid being influenced by third parties that seek to destroy ties" between them, referring to the US.
Iranian officials have called for an end to the war while stopping short of condemning Russia's attack.
In July, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan accused Iran of supplying Russia with "hundreds" of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including weapons-capable drones, to use in its war in Ukraine.
He said the US had "information" suggesting that Tehran was preparing to train Russian forces to use them, also calling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempts to deepen ties with Iran a "profound threat.”
Days later, in a phone call, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that the US claims were baseless.
He told Kuleba that Sullivan’s claims had a "specific political goal.”