“This is our clear response to the Iranian regime providing Russia with drones, which it uses to murder innocent Ukrainian citizens,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country chairs the EU.
The European Council has added three Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity to the list of those subject to restrictive measures for their role in the development and delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) used by Russia in its war against Ukraine.
The move comes amid reports that Russia has used Iranian drones to strike civilian targets in Ukraine and may soon receive precision-guided Iranian missiles. According to U.S. intelligence cited by the New York Times, Tehran has also been sending drone trainers to Russian-occupied Crimea.
‘’This decision is a signal of the EU’s resolve to respond swiftly and decisively to Iran’s actions supporting Russian aggression against Ukraine. The EU condemns the delivery of Iranian drones to Russia and their deadly deployment in the war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU will continue to respond to all actions supporting Russian aggression,’’ the EU’s Czech presidency said in a statement.
Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.
The Council has also signalled its intention to impose restrictive measures against a further two individuals and two entities on the same grounds.
European Council President Charles Michel welcomed the move as he hosted the 27 EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.
“We take swift action against Iran who supports Russia’s war in Ukraine,” he said.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the sanctions were “aimed at the persons and entities that manufacture and supply the drones”.
“This is our clear response to the Iranian regime providing Russia with drones, which it uses to murder innocent Ukrainian citizens,” he said.
Earlier this week, the 27 EU Foreign Ministers already sanctioned Iran’s “morality police” over its brutal crackdown against demonstrators protesting the death in a police custody of a 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini.