Some European Union foreign ministers on Monday called for new sanctions against Iran if Tehran’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine is proven.
Ukraine has reported a spate of Russian attacks with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones in recent weeks. Iran denies supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.
“We will look for concrete evidence about the participation (of Iran in the Ukraine war),” Josep Borrell told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, adding Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba would take part in the gathering.
The EU could decide to move towards imposing new sanctions against Iran over the matter, according to two diplomats involved in preparing talks among the ministers, though no detailed decisions were expected on Monday.
Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said the EU should react strongly to new air attacks on Kyiv where drones struck buildings near a central railway station during rush hours on Monday morning.
“What we can see now: Iranian drones are used apparently to attack in the middle of Kyiv, this is an atrocity,” Kofod said, saying the EU had to take “concrete steps” in response to that, as well as Tehran cracking down on protesters at home.
The bloc is already set to impose on Monday travel bans and freeze the assets of some 15 Iranians involved in a government crackdown that began last month against demonstrators outraged by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
France and Germany, both parties to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, have made it clear they believed new sanctions in connection to the drones used by Russia were necessary given that such transfers violated a resolution by the UN Security Council.
Additional EU sanctions on Iran will not be limited to blacklisting some individuals should Tehran’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine be proven, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said.
“Then it will be no longer about some individuals to be sanctioned,” he told reporters as he arrived for the EU meeting.