EU ministers agree to new sanctions on Iran BVZat

EU ministers agree to new sanctions on Iran

The punitive measures include the freezing of assets in the EU and the imposition of entry bans. Specifically, according to the Official Journal of the EU, they will meet with, among others, Minister of Sport and Youth Hamid Sajjadi, numerous regional branches of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the umbrella organization of moral guardians.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) said in Brussels that “a clear advantage is now needed” against Iran. At the same time, he expressed his disappointment, because “he had hoped that we would bring Iran back to the table of the international community through the Vienna nuclear deal”. “Sanctions are always at the bottom of the diplomatic alphabet, which means other measures haven’t worked,” Schallenberg said.

Iran is “seemingly moving in the wrong direction at almost the speed of light,” Schallenberg said, also with regard to drone deliveries to Russia. He did not rule out further sanctions against Iran: “I think we can go further and we will probably have to go further.” Still in relation to the Revolutionary Guard: “Here we can consider new steps”, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “In fact, we already have the heads of the Revolutionary Guard under sanctions.”

EU representatives have previously stated that for an organization to be included on the EU terrorist list, for example, would require a decision by a national court or a banning order by an administrative authority. “It means that the EU level alone cannot act without such a national decision,” he said.

The European Union has again increased its military aid to Ukraine. EU foreign ministers on Monday approved an additional tranche of 500 million euros to finance joint purchases of arms and ammunition, diplomats said. This increases the funds made available since the start of the Russian war of aggression to €3.6 billion.

Money flows from a pot outside the EU budget, the so-called peace mechanism. In addition, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called his EU counterparts together in a video conference on tanks, new sanctions against Russia and progress in the accession process, as he wrote on the short message service Twitter. “We need bold, resolute and daring steps to secure Ukraine’s victory in 2023,” he stressed.

EU foreign ministers also discussed the 10th package of sanctions against Russia, which is expected to be adopted before the February 24 anniversary of the Russian attack. According to diplomats, a price ceiling is foreseen for diesel and other petroleum derivatives. This requires a unanimous decision by member states.

With a new observation mission, the EU wants to contribute to defusing the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The foreign ministers of the 27 member states unanimously approved a corresponding plan. According to an EU official, he plans to send around 100 men and women to Armenia.

The mandate of the new mission in the South Caucasus states that the strategic objective is to help reduce the number of incidents in conflict and border areas. It is also about reducing the risk for the population living there and thus contributing to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.