(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is preparing additional sanctions against Iran over military aid Tehran has provided to Russia as well as its violent crackdown on protesters, according to people familiar with the matter.
The travel bans and asset freezes would be imposed on 21 individuals and entities over the repression of protests, with 10 listings over the deliveries of drones to Russia used in its war in Ukraine, said the people, who asked not to be named because the preparations are private.
The measures are expected to be signed off by EU foreign ministers gathering in Brussels on Dec. 12 but could always face last-minute push-back by some member states, the people said. The bloc’s foreign ministers are also due to discuss the stalled negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program.
“We will cut Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. We propose to ban the direct exports of drone engines to Russia and the export to any third countries, such as Iran, which could supply drones to Russia,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.
The new measures would come on top of a string of sanctions the EU has imposed on Iran both on human rights issues but also its military aid to Russia. In November, the EU sanctioned the police officers involved in the arrest of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, the Kurdish-Iranian woman whose death in detention in September sparked some of the biggest protests in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
Earlier Thursday, Iran executed a prisoner arrested during anti-government protests, the first known case of the death sentence being carried out on protesters since the unrest began in September.
The EU is also looking to cut off Russia’s access to all sorts of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. A new package of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine will propose to ban the export of drones and key components to Iran and other third countries, that could then supply Russia.
Ukrainian officials have highlighted the use of Iranian-made drones in Russian attacks across Ukraine since mid-September, and the role they have had in targeting critical infrastructure across the country.
Russia has relied more on missiles in recent attacks as they’ve run out of their first tranche of drones from Iran, according to western officials, who added they’re closely monitoring a closer partnership between Russia and Iran on the development of advanced weapons.
Iran has previously denied exporting weapons to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine.
--With assistance from Alberto Nardelli.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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