Iran’s Foreign Minister Criticizes Ukraine in Doha

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized Ukraine, claiming it is a potential “black market” for weapons during the Doha Forum. He admitted that Iran “used to provide all kinds of support to Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” He then said that these terror groups “if you ask me where they can obtain weapons, then one of the black markets where they can get them is Ukraine. Very easily, without much effort they can get whatever [they need] in Ukraine.” He also referenced Ukraine when speaking about terror groups. Russian state media highlighted his comments against Ukraine, using them to push the headline: “Hezbollah, Hamas able to purchase all weapons in Ukraine with ease — top Iranian diplomat.”

The Iranian comments are in contrast to the fact Ukraine has condemned the Hamas attack on Israel, while Russia has not. Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky condemned the Hamas attack on October 7 as a crime against the world, while Russia did not condemn the attack.

Iran has backed various proxies in the region and called on them to increase attacks on the US and Israel. Abdollahian was speaking in Doha, Qatar, where Hamas leaders reside. Russian state media highlighted his comments against Ukraine, knowing Iran and Russia have worked closely together in recent years. The Iranian foreign minister’s comments were calculated, designed to gain Iran favors in Russia, and to deflect critique of Iran for backing terror groups and instability in the region.