EU targets Iran’s Revolutionary Guard over Russia war drones

Nov 14, 2022, 9:08 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
FILE - Firefighters work after a drone attack on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 17, 2022. Waves o...

FILE - Firefighters work after a drone attack on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 17, 2022. Waves of explosive-laden suicide drones struck Ukraine's capital as families were preparing to start their week early Monday, the blasts echoing across Kyiv, setting buildings ablaze and sending people scurrying to shelters. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna, File)

(AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna, File)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday imposed sanctions on the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the corp’s Aerospace Force and a company making drones that the bloc says have been used by Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Western-reinforced air defenses are making it difficult for Russian warplanes to operate, and killer drones are a cheap weapon that can seek out and destroy targets while spreading fear among both troops and civilians.

Russia stands accused of sending waves of Iranian-made drones over Ukraine to strike at power plants and other key infrastructure. The EU says it has evidence that Iran has sold drones to Russia since the war began in February. It is investigating reports that Iran might also be supplying missiles.

In a statement, the EU said it was targeting Revolutionary Guard chief Gen. Hossein Salami because the corps “supervises the development of Iran’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program as well as the transfer of UAVs abroad.”

The bloc also slapped sanctions on the Revolutionary Guard’s Aerospace Force and commanding general, saying that the Shahed-136 and Mohajer-6 drones they have allegedly supplied “are used by the Russian Federation in the war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Qods Aviation Industries, which makes Mohajer-6 drones, was also listed “for supporting materially actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”

Last month, the EU imposed an asset freeze on Shahad Aviation Industries, and an asset freeze and travel ban on three armed forces generals suspected of links to Iran’s drone program.

___

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              France's state secretary for European affairs Laurence Boone speaks with journalists as she arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. EU foreign ministers will hold exchanges of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Great Lakes region and Western Balkans. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, left, speaks  with Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod as they arrive for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. EU foreign ministers will hold exchanges of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Great Lakes region and Western Balkans. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell speaks with journalists as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. EU foreign ministers will hold exchanges of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Great Lakes region and Western Balkans. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock speaks with journalists as she arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Brussels, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. EU foreign ministers will hold exchanges of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Great Lakes region and Western Balkans. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              FILE - Firefighters work after a drone attack on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct. 17, 2022. Waves of explosive-laden suicide drones struck Ukraine's capital as families were preparing to start their week early Monday, the blasts echoing across Kyiv, setting buildings ablaze and sending people scurrying to shelters. (AP Photo/Roman Hrytsyna, File)
            
              FILE - A drone is seen in the sky seconds before it fired on buildings in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 17, 2022. The Iranian-made drones that Russia sent slamming into central Kyiv this week have produced hand-wringing and consternation in Israel, complicating the country’s balancing act between Russia and the West. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
            
              FILE - This undated photograph released by the Ukrainian military's Strategic Communications Directorate shows the wreckage of what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone downed near Kupiansk, Ukraine. As protests rage at home, Iran's theocratic government is increasingly flexing its military muscle abroad. That includes supplying drones to Russia that now kill Ukrainian civilians, running drills in a border region with Azerbaijan and bombing Kurdish positions in Iraq. (Ukrainian military's Strategic Communications Directorate via AP, File)

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EU targets Iran’s Revolutionary Guard over Russia war drones