On October 20, 2022, the EU and the UK imposed sanctions upon three Iranian military officers and an Iranian manufacturer of Shahed drones which have been used by Russia during its illegal invasion of Ukraine. According to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Russia has been using the drones to attack Ukraine’s civilians and critical infrastructure in an effort to block the Ukrainian people from having access to energy, heating, and water. The UK reports that the four designees, responsible for supplying Russia with kamikaze drones and profiting from Russia’s attacks on Ukrainian people, are now subject to asset freezes in the UK. UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also stated that he considers the drone strikes to be a cowardly act of desperation which is causing untold suffering upon the people of Ukraine, based upon open-source evidence that Kronshtadt, a Russian defense and drone manufacturer, is struggling to maintain production since the company was sanctioned in March 2022. This procurement of drones also provides further evidence that both Russia and Iran have violated the UN Security Council Resolution that controls the transfer of these weapons from Iran.
The Council of the EU also adopted Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1985 and Council Decision 2022/1986 in response to Iran’s participation in the development and delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAVs”) to Russia for its war against Ukraine. The Council also reiterated that the EU condemns both the delivery of drones to Russia and Russia’s deadly deployment of the drones during its aggression against Ukraine. The restrictive measures imposed by the EU include asset freezes and travel bans (if the designee is natural person), and prohibits EU citizens and companies from making funds available to listed persons.