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EU plans tighter sanctions on Iran in response to Israel attack

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EU plans tighter sanctions on Iran in response to Israel attack

EU plans tighter sanctions on Iran in response to Israel attack

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  • The EU has agreed to expand sanctions on Iranian drone and missile producers following Tehran’s attack on Israel.
  • European Council President Charles Michel emphasized the importance of isolating Iran.
  • US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the possibility of further sanctions and suggested targeting Iran’s oil exports.
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Following Tehran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, the EU has agreed to expand sanctions on Iranian producers of drones and missiles. European Council President Charles Michel emphasized the significance of isolating Iran, stating, “It’s very important to do everything to isolate Iran.”

The bloc already has multiple sanctions in place against Iran, including those for selling drones to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine. The US has hinted at imposing its new penalties in the coming days.

The EU’s new sanctions were agreed upon during a summit in Brussels, marking the first meeting between the bloc’s 27 leaders since Iran’s direct assault on Israel on Saturday. The assault involved more than 300 missiles and drones fired from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, mostly downed by Israel and its allies.

Tehran has asserted that it was retaliation for a presumed Israeli airstrike on its consulate in Syria on 1 April, resulting in the deaths of 13 people. Israel, which has thus far only countered with a diplomatic offensive, has not ruled out a response.

However, world leaders have continued to urge restraint in a bid to prevent a wider conflict in the Middle East.

“For us, it is important that this moment is now also used for further de-escalation and that Israel also uses this success to strengthen its position in the whole region and not respond with a massive attack of its own,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said after Wednesday’s meeting.

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Israel has urged its allies to sanction Tehran’s missile program and to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a major military and political force in Iran, as a terrorist organization, a step already taken by the US but not by the EU and UK.

The EU has already implemented a wide range of measures targeting Iran over its human rights abuses, nuclear proliferation activities, and military support for Russia.

On Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen discussed the possibility of further sanctions, stating that “all options to disrupt terrorist financing of Iran continue to be on the table.”

She also indicated that Washington could target Iran’s oil exports as “a possible area.”

“Iran is continuing to export some oil. There may be more that we could do.”

In a later statement, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced that the US would cover Iran’s missile and drone program, as well as the IRGC and the Iranian defense ministry.

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