The EU announces new sanctions against Iran but calls on Israel to moderate its retaliation

Josep Borrell, during the press conference this Tuesday in Brussels

We ask all actors to move away from the abyss“. The foreign ministers of the European Union held an emergency meeting by videoconference this Tuesday to coordinate their position regarding the massive attack with 300 drones and missiles that Iran carried out against Israel last Saturday.

The Twenty-Seven have agreed to launch new sanctions against the ayatollah regimebut at the same time they demand that the Government of Benjamin Netanyahu to moderate its retaliation against Tehran in order to prevent a regional war from breaking out in the Middle East.

“I don't want to exaggerate, but in the Middle East we are on the edge of a very deep precipice. And the Member States have agreed to use all our diplomatic means to prevent the next decision, the next option on the game board from leading to greater tension and provoking a greater response,” Josep Borrell said at a press conference at end of the meeting.

[El ataque de Irán pone en jaque el frágil equilibrio de alianzas tejido por EEUU en Oriente Próximo]

“The only immediate way to prevent escalation is avoid May the next step arrive with a increased war response. Because if every time there is one more step on the ladder the intensity of the military response increases, in the end we will end up with a regional war, which no one may want but which everyone will achieve,” maintains the EU High Representative for the Foreign policy.

At their meeting this Tuesday, the foreign ministers They have repeated their “strong” condemnation of Iran's attack and have reaffirmed the EU's commitment to the security of Israel. At the same time, they have insisted on asking all actors to show “restraint.”

The Twenty-seven have proposed increase sanctions against Tehran, which will be formally approved in the coming weeks. On the one hand, the EU will expand the regime of restrictive measures already in force against Iran for supplying drones to Russia, in order to also include missiles. In addition, the Twenty-seven will also punish the sending of this type of weapons to Iran's allies in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria.

Secondly, Borrell has announced that controls will be strengthened to prevent Iran from having access to the components necessary for the manufacture of drones. The EU already banned the export of these components to Tehran in July 2023, but will now review whether the veto is being circumvented or can be expanded.

Josep Borrell, during the press conference this Tuesday in Brussels

European Union

Several Member States have asked the High Representative to include the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on the EU blacklist of terrorist organisations. Borrell has responded that this requires a decision from some national authority against this elite military body for its involvement in terrorist activities, which does not exist right now.

In any case, the High Representative has announced that he will ask the legal services to examine whether there is any other way to sanction the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Finally, EU foreign ministers have called for an “immediate and sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza, the unconditional release of all hostages by Hamas and the massive entry of humanitarian aid. “There will be no regional stability or lasting peace in the region if the Gaza war continues and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not resolved,” warns Borrell.

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