The bloc said it could reinforce measures it took last month, when it sanctioned three people and a company for supplying kamikaze drones to Moscow< /i>
Russian troops have attacked the Ukrainian civilian population with Iranian drones (REUTERS/Roman Petushkov)
The European Union on Monday threatened Iran with new sanctionsif it is shown that it continues to provide arms to Russia in its war against Ukraine, as it did on October 20, when it sanctioned three people and a company for giving kamikaze drones to Moscow.
“The EU acted very quickly. On October 20, the EU countries approved the sanctions after having sufficient evidence that Russia has used Iranian drones against Ukraine. The EU will continue to consider all the actions or options at its disposal”, affirmed the Community Executive's Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Peter Stano, at the institution's daily press conference.
Stano added that the EU countries are following “very closely” this issue and that “they are prepared to act if there is more evidence that Iran continues to give these weapons to Russia”, in the same line that the foreign ministers of the G7 marked last Friday, after their meeting in < b>Germany.
The Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi during a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Sputnik/Alexandr Demyanchuk/REUTERS)
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdolahian, acknowledged for the first time on Saturday that his country supplied drones to Russia, although he said the shipments were made before the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelensky, assured on Saturday that this statement is false since kyiv shoots down “at least ten Iranian drones every day”.
It believes that Russia has ordered some 2,400 drones of the Shahed-136 type, which Russian forces use under the name “Geran”.
For Zelensky, the use of Iranian drones is a symbol of the “military and political failure” of the Russian troops.
The sanctions that the EU approved on October 20 against Iran were added to those that were approved three days earlier against 11 Iranian citizens, including the head of the Police of the Moral, Mohammad Rostami Cheshmeh Gachi, and four companies from that country in response to the repression against protesters, after the death of Mahsa Amini.
An Iranian drone approaches a target in kyiv (Yasuyoshi CHIBA/AFP)
The ShahedIranians have an explosive charge and can hover over their targets before launching themselves at them. They can be launched in quick succession from platforms. Their characteristic A-shaped design makes them easy to identify.
Iran is stepping up its commitment to supply weapons for Russia's assault on Ukraine , according to US and allied security officials, secretly agreeing to send not only attack drones, but also what some officials described as the firstIranian-made surface-to-surface missiles intended for use against Ukrainian cities and troop positions.
Increased arms flow from Tehran could help offset what, according to Biden administration officials, there have been huge losses of Russian military equipmentsince Moscow invaded the country in February, and a rapidly dwindling supply of precision-guided munitions of the type used in last week's attacks on multiple Ukrainian cities.
An intelligence assessment shared in recent days with Ukrainian and US officials maintains that Iran's arms industry is preparing a first shipment of Fateh-110 and Zolfaghar missiles, two well-known Iranian short-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting targets at distances of 300 and 700 kilometers, respectively, said two officials briefed on the matter. If carried out, it would be the first delivery of such missiles to Russia since the start of the war.
In August, the same officials identified specific Iranian drones, the Shahed series and the Mohajer-6, which Tehran was beginning to supply to Russia for use in Ukraine. The remains of both types have been recovered, analyzed and photographed by Ukrainian forces in recent weeks. It appears that Russia has repainted the weapons and given them Russian names.