UK joins EU in sanctioning Iran over alleged drones supply to Russia
The UK and the EU are so synchronous even when it comes to sanctions, with the former sanctioning the same three individuals and one entity the EU had sanctioned earlier.
The UK announced on Thursday that it enforced sanctions on three Iranian military figures and a defense manufacturer over the alleged supply of drones to Russia.
In a statement published today by the Foreign Office, it identified the three sanctioned individuals to be Senior Iranian military officers Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, Seyed Hojjatollah Qureishi, and Saeed Aghajani.
The statement claimed that the three individuals were "personally responsible" for supplying drones to be used in strikes against Ukraine, and as a consequence of this, their assets will be frozen.
"Iran’s support for Putin’s brutal and illegal war against Ukraine is deplorable," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said. "This is clear evidence of Iran’s destabilizing role in global security."
Britain will also subject Shahed Aviation Industries, the Iranian manufacturer of the Shahed drones, to an asset freeze, the foreign office said.
Earlier today, the EU announced it had imposed sanctions on those three same individuals and the one company for the same reasons as listed by the UK Foreign Office.
In a statement published today, the EU said that "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."
Read more: Shahed 136 drones used to strike military base inside Ukraine: WSJ
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed on Wednesday that 233 Iranian Shahed UAVs have been destroyed by Ukrainian air defenses over the past 10 days, while Ukrainian Energy Minister, Herman Halushchenko, claimed Thursday that Russia has carried out about 300 strikes on Ukraine's energy system over the past 10 days.
European Council chief Charles Michel welcomed "the EU Council decision to adopt in record time restrictive measures against those in Iran who provide military support to Russia."
On his part, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, said that "this is our clear response to the Iranian regime providing Russia with drones, which it uses to murder innocent Ukrainian citizens."
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian posted on Twitter that he reminded EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell in a phone conversation that "our clear policy is to oppose the war and its escalation in Ukraine."
"The claim of sending Iranian missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine is a baseless claim. We have defense cooperation with Russia but delivering weapons and drones against Ukraine is not our policy," Amir-Abdollahian stressed.
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On Wednesday, Tehran requested documents from Kiev documenting and proving Russia's usage of Iranian drones in Ukraine as part of the ongoing war, the top Iranian diplomat confirmed.
Amir-Abdollahian and Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić-Radman had a phone conversation that saw the two discussing bilateral ties between their countries and Iran's stance on the Ukraine war.
"We are strongly against the war and [against] arming each side of the war. We have told the Ukrainian authorities to provide any evidence about the use of alleged Iranian drones in the Ukraine war," the Iranian Foreign Minister told his Croatian counterpart.
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