EU imposes new sanctions on Iran
The European Union hit Iran's intelligence services with sanctions after accusing Tehran of being behind plots to assassinate regime opponents on Dutch, Danish and French soil.
The fresh sanctions, which add two Iranian individuals and a unit of the Iranian intelligence services to the bloc’s terror list, follow alleged plots against Iranian opposition figures in Denmark and France. The targets’ assets will be frozen and other restrictions put in place.
"These listings have been adopted by the Council as part of its response to recent foiled attacks on the European soil," the statement said.
The move comes as the EU faces conflicting pressures over ties to Iran, with the bloc seeking to salvage the nuclear deal while confronting hostile Iranian behavior in its region and beyond. Some European officials back U.S. calls for a tougher response to Iran’s ballistic missile tests and its role in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, but the bloc is split on that.
Last summer, French authorities said Iran was behind a failed bomb plot in June on a leading opposition group in Paris. In late October, Danish authorities said they had prevented an assassination plot by Iran against a top official in an Iranian separatist organization. Iran has denied any involvement in European attacks.
Head of the Friendship and business cooperation with Arab countries society Vyacheslav Matuzov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that this event will not have any impact on Tehran’s position of preserving the nuclear deal. "Iran has a stable and understandable position regarding the nuclear treaty. In this regard, any new negative steps on the part of the U.S. and the EU change nothing, because the West has already spoiled everything which can be spoiled in its relations with Iran. Tehran, in turn, continues to develop weapons and economic development programs in the light of all the circumstances, including sanctions adopted by the West," he said.
"I think Iran has many allies and opportunities to neutralize the impact of these Western sanctions on the development of the country. Iran has been under sanctions since 1979, and these 40 years have shown that the Iranian economy is developing successfully. Now there are no technologies which could not be obtained on the world market, there are no restrictions on the sale of oil and gas, because if the European market closes, the Eastern market opens immediately," Valery Matuzov emphasized.
"Today, when Iran reaches a high regional level, the West is increasingly looking for political pressure on Tehran. At the same time, the situation in the Persian Gulf is drastically changing, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and Egypt are building a line of restoring diplomatic relations with Syria. Iran has a big role in it, which makes the West nervous. I hope that in the future there will be an improvement in Iran’s political relations with the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and with the Arab world as a whole," the head of the Friendship and business cooperation with Arab countries society concluded.