German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock attends a press conference, in Berlin, Germany, April 16, 2024.

Germany Calls For Expanded EU Sanctions On Iranian Drone Technology

Tuesday, 04/16/2024

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has urged the European Union to consider an extension of sanctions to cover Iranian drone technology in the wake of the aerial assault against Israel over the weekend.

The EU has already imposed sanctions on Iran in its 27 member countries but Iran's drone exports to Russia remain ongoing for use in the war in Ukraine.

Baerbock emphasized the need to extend the existing "drone sanctions regime," which was established last year, to include more missile technologies used by Iran. "I hope that we can now finally take this step together," Baerbock stated.

"I campaigned in late autumn together with France and other partners within the European Union for this drone sanctions regime to be extended further," she said, adding she also wanted it to cover "other missile technologies in Iran's arsenal".

Baerbock is en-route to Israel to express Germany's solidarity after the attack in which over 350 drones and missiles were launched towards Israel, making her the first high-ranking official to do so.

She said the trip aims to "assure our Israeli partners of Germany's full solidarity" and to discuss "how a further escalation with more violence can be prevented."

The barrage launched Saturday night was the first direct attack from Iranian soil to the Jewish state and followed an alleged Israeli air strike earlier this month in which two top Quds Force commanders were killed along with several IRGC personnel. Most of the bombardment was intercepted en-route by Israel and its allies.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, called on 32 countries to sanction the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its missile program, urging for the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. EU members claim legal complexities are involved in such a designation as it is a state body.

The IRGC, established in 1979, has significant military, political, and economic influence in Iran and has been implicated in international activities, including plots in the UK. In response, the UK has imposed sanctions on IRGC's Unit 840, which is associated with assassination attempts against British nationals. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the United States have already designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

Later on Tuesday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that some EU member states have asked for sanctions against Iran to be expanded in response to Tehran's attack on Israel and the bloc's diplomatic service will begin working on the proposal.

Borrell was speaking after an emergency video conference of EU foreign ministers called to discuss the repercussions of the attack.

More News