Iran’s top security official Ali Shamkhani called for dialogue to end the war in Ukraine during a meeting Wednesday in Tehran with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev.
Patrushev later met with President Ebrahim Raisi, who said that “broadening the scope of the war and its escalation are a source of concern for all countries,” according to official news agency IRNA.
The meetings come after Kiev and its Western allies accused Russia in recent weeks of using Iranian-made drones to carry out attacks in Ukraine. Tehran denies the allegations.
“Iran supports any initiative leading to a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine based on dialogue,” Shamkhani said, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
The Islamic republic was “ready to play a role in ending the war”, he added, IRNA reported.
Russia’s Security Council said the two senior officials “discussed in detail bilateral cooperation in the field of law enforcement, including public security and the fight against terrorism and extremism“.
“In addition, they discussed measures to counter the interference of Western special services in the internal affairs of the two countries,” it said in a statement.
Iran has been rocked by nearly two months of protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly breaking the nation’s strict dress code for women.
An adviser to Ukraine’s president said Patrushev’s visit to Iran showed the Kremlin was “exhausted”.
In a Twitter post, the adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said Russia’s “resources are close to the limit”, and that Patrushev was “looking for a way to continue the war” by getting more drones and missiles.
“Now is the perfect time to double aid to Ukraine,” he wrote.
Kiev dramatically curtailed diplomatic relations with Tehran in September due to alleged arms shipments to Moscow.
Last week Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian admitted his country had supplied drones to Moscow before Russian troops invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
He also said he was ready to examine any evidence of the use of Iranian drones in the Ukrainian conflict.
In late October the European Union and Britain announced new sanctions against Iran, targeting three generals and an arms company “responsible for supplying Russia with suicide drones” to bomb Ukraine.
Shamkhani, during the meeting with Patrushev, underlined the “creation of joint institutions to deal with the sanctions” imposed on Russia and Iran, IRNA said.
The Russian statement said both parties “stressed the importance of developing Russia’s and Iran’s economic potential and expand trade relations” to counter Western sanctions.