For the first time since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the European Union has also decided to sanction the Revolutionary Guards in Iran, the so-called Pasdaran. Previously, there had been long discussions in European offices on whether or not to sanction this military corps for the violent and bloody repression they have been carrying out for months against their own population. Many of the European parliamentarians said they were in favor of recognizing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization. Everything was resolved, on that occasion, with targeted sanctions and not directly against the Pasdaran. Even if an amendment will be voted on February 20 to decide to include or not the Pasdaran in the list of European terrorist organizations.
For this reason, Ursula Von Der Leyen’s words represent a notable change of pace. Within the tenth package of sanctions (for a total of 11 billion euros) which includes trade bans and export controls, in particular relating to the world of technology, there is room for drones, missiles and helicopters. Indeed, the European Union has decided to sanction “the Guardians of the Revolution” for “hundreds of Iranian-made drones used by Russia on the battlefields in Ukraine”. The motivation for the sanctions explains the president of the European Commission is: “These Iranian-made drones kill Ukrainian civilians, this is atrocious!”. Von Der Leyen also underlined that ”it is our duty to sanction and confront Iran on the supply of drones and on the transfer of know-how to build sites for the production of drones in Russia”. Furthermore, Joseph Borrell, High Representative for European Foreign Policy, also declared: “NATO has been provided with clear evidence that Tehran contributes with the supply of drones”. During a meeting in London, some analysts of the Defense Intelligence Agency demonstrated with a series of photos that the drones used to strike Ukraine match those used in Iran. It is the details that make these Iranian attack drones unmistakable. Indeed, US analysts have stressed that the weapons used in Ukraine are indistinguishable from Shahed-131, 136 and Mohajer 6 unmanned aircraft used in the Middle East by Tehran.
Furthermore, the American response appears to be close. According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States is considering sending Iranian weapons seized by the US Navy to Ukraine to resupply Ukrainian troops. Putting the matter into numbers: US officials explained that they intend to send more than 5,000 assault rifles, 1.6 million small arms ammunition, a small number of anti-tank missiles, and more than 7,000 fuses seized in recent years to Ukraine. months off the coast of Yemen by smugglers suspected of working for Iran. In the geopolitical chessboard, when someone moves it is always important to observe the response. Ebrhaim Raisi, Iranian president, went to Beijing to meet Xi Jinping. The Chinese president called on Raisi to reaffirm Chinese support for Iran. “China will support Iran in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests and promote the timely and proper resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue,” the Chinese leader said publicly. On the sidelines of the meeting and to give strength to what has been said, 20 memorandums of understanding were signed between the two powers. The agreements concern the most diverse subjects: environment, international trade, communication, health, exports and healthcare. A choice of field, the Chinese one, very precise and not surprising. On the contrary, only the officiality was missing. The images of what happened in Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989 are not that far away. And sadly, they bear a striking resemblance to what Iran’s youth are suffering from his regime.