Macron says EU has 'duty' to expand Iran sanctions

AFP , Wednesday 17 Apr 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday the EU and its Western allies must expand sanctions on Iran's missile and drone manufacturers after Tehran's attack on Israel.

France s President Emmanuel Macron (R), next to Group Renew Europe President and European Parliament election candidate Valerie Hayer (C) and European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton (L), speaks to press ahead of a meeting of Renew Europe group prior to the European Defence and Security conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels on April 17, 2024. AFP


"Our duty is to expand these sanctions," Macron said ahead of a Brussels summit where EU leaders are set to endorse a push already launched by the bloc to step up its sanctions on Iran.

Tehran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack over the weekend against Israel, which caused little damage after most of the projectiles were intercepted.

Tehran's first-ever direct assault on Israeli soil came in response to a deadly Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

EU foreign ministers agreed Tuesday for the bloc to start work on toughening sanctions that it already has in place against Iran over deliveries of drones to Russia for its use in the war on Ukraine.

A draft statement from Wednesday's EU summit said leaders were "ready to take further restrictive measures against Iran, notably in relation to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles."

The statement also calls for "all parties to exercise the utmost restraint and to refrain from any action that may increase tensions" as the West scrambles to stop a broader conflict.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country will decide how to respond to Iran's attack as world leaders called for restraint to avoid escalation.

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