Iran condemns EU sanctions over drone programme

Iran condemns EU sanctions over drone programme
The new round of EU sanctions were made against high-ranking Iranian officials as well as members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
2 min read
Iranian drones have been exported across the Middle East and to Russia, where they're being used to strike Ukraine [Getty]

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.

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 Houthi 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.