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EU could impose sanctions on Iran in a few days over alleged drone supplies to Russia, sources say

Ukraine has blamed Iran for providing Russia with drones, which have been used to attack Kyiv in recent days.
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The European Union could impose new sanctions on Iran “in a matter of days” following further investigations into whether it helped Russia in its war in Ukraine, two sources told CNBC Tuesday.

Ukraine has blamed Tehran for providing Russia with drones, which have been used to attack Kyiv in recent days. According to the Kyiv City State Administration, 28 drones have been used to attack the Ukrainian capital, with five of them contributing to explosions in the city on Monday.

The U.S. has also said that Iranian drones were used in attacks in Kyiv on that same day. Iran has denied the accusations.

“We are following very closely the use of these drones, we are gathering evidence and we will be ready to react with the tools at our disposal,” the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said at a press conference Monday, following a meeting with his European counterparts.

Investigations are ongoing, but one EU official, who did not want to be named due to the sensitive nature of the situation, told CNBC Tuesday that the bloc could be ready to impose sanctions “in a matter of days.”

A second EU official, who also preferred to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity issues, told CNBC Tuesday that new sanctions “could come quite soon.”

These are likely to impact entities and individuals that are proven to be involved in facilitating the delivery of drones to Moscow, the first official said.

These potential new penalties on Iran could be the second in just a few days. The EU introduced punitive measures on Iran Monday for violating human rights with its crackdown on recent protests, which have taken place following the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini. Monday’s set of sanctions were imposed on a total of 97 individuals and eight entities.

In addition, France and the U.K. have warned that Iranian supplies of weapons to Russia would breach the country’s obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). This also highlights that recent attempts to revive this accord could be in vain. Negotiations between Iran, the U.S. and the EU have stalled in recent weeks.

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