Iran condemns EU sanctions over drone programme

AFP , Saturday 1 Jun 2024

Iran on Saturday criticised the European Union's imposition of new sanctions on high-ranking officials and the Revolutionary Guards for supplying drones to Russia and its Middle East allies.

An underground drone base, in an unknown location in Iran
FILE PHOTO: An underground drone base, in an unknown location in Iran. AFP


The EU's measures unveiled on Friday target Iran's Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and Esmail Qaani, the commander of the Guards' foreign operations arm, the Quds Force, among others.

The sanctions also target an armed forces command centre, the head of a state aviation firm and the Kavan Electronics Behrad company.

The Islamic Republic's foreign ministry described the move as "regrettable", saying they were based on "repeated, absurd, and baseless excuses and accusations".

"The European Union... once again resorted to the obsolete and ineffective tool of sanctions against the powerful Iran," ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a statement.

The sanctions forbid any EU citizen or company from engaging in business with the listed individuals and organisations.

The United States and its allies including Israel accuse Iran of providing fleets of drones to its allies in the Middle East, notably to Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah and the Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Kyiv and its Western allies also accuse Iran of providing Russia with drones for use in the Ukraine war, a claim the Islamic Republic denies.

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