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Fri. May 17th, 2024

The United Kingdom, joining forces with the United States and Canada, announced a new set of sanctions on Iran’s drone and missile industries following Tehran’s recent military assault on Israel.

The sanctions come in response to Iran’s large-scale attack involving more than 300 drones and missiles. While most were intercepted, the event raised concerns over escalating tensions in the region.

Iran’s attack on Israel was a direct response to an April 1 air strike in Damascus that killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The air strike, widely attributed to Israel, led to Tehran’s aggressive retaliation. Despite the significant number of drones and missiles launched by Iran, Israeli forces, alongside support from the U.S. and the UK, managed to mitigate the damage.

The British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office announced the latest sanctions targeting two individuals and four companies closely associated with Iran’s drone production network. Additionally, the UK is expanding trade sanctions against Iran by introducing new bans on exporting components used in the production of drones and missiles.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron, addressing the new sanctions, said, “The Iranian regime’s dangerous attack on Israel risked thousands of civilian casualties and wider escalation in the region. Alongside our partners, we will continue to tighten the net on Iran’s ability to develop and export these deadly weapons.” The UK has already imposed over 400 sanctions on Iran, including designations against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and many involved in the attack on Israel.

The U.S. Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Iran’s military drone program, targeting more than a dozen individuals, companies, and ships involved in facilitating and financing clandestine sales of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the country’s defence ministry. The sanctions aim to limit Iran’s capacity to support Russia’s war in Ukraine, destabilise the region, and proliferate UAVs and other military hardware to terrorist proxies.

Thursday’s joint sanctions follow similar measures from Washington targeting 16 people and two companies involved in Iran’s UAV program, along with components used in the attack against Israel. The European Union, too, imposed its own set of sanctions on Iran during a summit in Brussels, indicating a broader international effort to curtail Iran’s military capabilities and its destabilising regional activities.

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