April 25th, 2024

US, G-7 allies warn Iran to back off deal to provide Russia ballistic missiles or face new sanctions

By Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press on March 15, 2024.

FILE - In this image taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Aug. 8, 2023, a Russian howitzer fires toward Ukrainian positions at an undisclosed location. Russian President Vladimir Putin has cast the conflict in Ukraine as a life-or-death battle against the West, with Moscow ready to protect its gains at any cost. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and allies warned Iran on Friday that major Western economies will pile new sanctions on Tehran if it moves forward with an advancing plan to provide ballistic missiles to Russia for its war with Ukraine.

The Biden administration has raised alarms for months that Russia is seeking close-range ballistic missiles from Iran as Moscow struggles to replenish its dwindling supplies.

The U.S. has yet to confirm that missiles have moved from Iran to Russia. But U.S. officials are alarmed by comments by Iranian officials that suggest that a deal is imminent.

One action that the Group of Seven countries are mulling is to prohibit Iran Air, the country’s national air carrier, from flying to Europe, according to a senior Biden administration official. The official, who was not authorized to comment and insisted on anonymity, declined to preview other sanctions that the U.S. are mulling beyond describing the potential action as “significant measures.”

The U.S. and Europe already impose extensive sanctions against Iran targeting individuals as well as limiting the country’s access to trade, financial services, energy, technology and other sectors. The sanctions on Iran are arguably the most extensive and comprehensive set of sanctions that the United States maintains on any country, with thousands of individuals and entities targeted.

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