FILE PHOTO: A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022. Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY/File Photo
European Union member states have adopted new sanctions against Iran over Iranian-made drones supplied to Russia, the EU Council’s Czech presidency said on Thursday, 20 October.
“EU states decided to freeze the assets of three individuals and one entity responsible for the drone deliveries and are also prepared to extend sanctions to four other Iranian entities that were already on an earlier sanctions list,” the body said in a statement via Twitter.
#COREPERII | ✅ #Iran #sanctions in record time! After 3 days of talks, EU ambassadors agreed on measures against entities supplying Iranian drones that hit #Ukraine. Written procedure is over, sanctions come into force this afternoon on publication in the Off. Journal. #EU2022CZ pic.twitter.com/Fjqaqz7mfj
— EU2022_CZ (@EU2022_CZ) October 20, 2022
However, Tehran denies having supplied drones to Moscow, as “unfounded and unsubstantiated” news. Likewise, the Kremlin rejects the accusation and says it has “no knowledge of Russian forces using Iranian drones in Ukraine”, according to Aljazeera.
On 18 October, the spokesperson of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Kanaani, denied reports that suggest Iran provided attack drones to Russia to use in its conflict with Ukraine.
Kanaani called the news “fabricated” and said it “serves the interests of the west,” reiterating that Tehran has opposed the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine.
He added that Iran hopes that the conflict in eastern Europe will come to an end with a political solution.
The official spokesman pointed out that it is a “bitter political irony” that the US and EU nations send billions of dollars to one side of the conflict, yet criticize and accuse others of sending weapons to the other side.
“If these countries support a political solution to this crisis, how can they justify sending weapons in such large quantities?” Kanaani asked.
Iran’s head adviser for military affairs, Major General Rahim Safavi, confirmed on 18 October that 22 nations have sent requests to purchase Iranian attack drones.
Safavi revealed that these clients include Armenia, Algeria, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Venezuela, among other countries.
He also stated that Iran previously imported 80 percent of its military needs from abroad before the establishment of the Islamic Republic, and is now producing 80 percent of its defense requirements.