Iran has asked its citizens currently stationed in Ukraine to leave the country and advised others against traveling there as the protracted military showdown gets intense.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that all Iranian nationals presently in Ukraine should leave the war-ravaged country “for their own safety.”
It also advised Iranian nationals to refrain from traveling to the country “due to military escalation and increasing insecurity.”
The statement further asked Iranian nationals in Ukraine to “remain calm” and contact the country’s embassy in Kyiv if needed.
The advisory comes amid a rapid escalation in the war, now in its eighth month, with Ukrainian forces making significant territorial advances in the regions recently annexed by Russia.
Tensions between Tehran and Kyiv have also heightened amid claims made by Ukrainian officials as well as the US and European officials about Iran supplying drones to Russia to be used in Ukraine.
On Thursday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Iran has deployed military experts in Russian-occupied Crimea to help launch drone attacks on Ukraine.
He added Iran was now “directly engaged on the ground” and through the supply of drones to Russia, adding that the US will “pursue all means” to “expose, deter and confront Iran’s provision of these munitions against the Ukrainian people”.
Ukrainian officials say that they identified the drones used by Russia on the Ukrainian cities on Monday as Iranian-made Shahed-136, known as “kamikaze drones.”