US and allies plan more Iran sanctions; Israel war Cabinet to meet again


European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, speaking in Brussels after an emergency video conference of EU foreign ministers, said some member states had asked for sanctions against Iran to be expanded and that the bloc’s diplomatic service would begin working on the proposal.

Borrell said the proposal would expand a sanctions regime that seeks to curb the supply of Iranian drones to Russia so that it would also include the provision of missiles and could also cover deliveries to Iranian proxies in the Middle East.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said he was “leading a diplomatic attack”, writing to 32 countries to ask them to place sanctions on Iran’s missile programme and follow Washington in proscribing its dominant military force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a terrorist group.

“CALM HEADS”

Iran launched the attack in retaliation for an airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on Apr 1 attributed to Israel, but has signalled that it now deems the matter closed.

President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekend that the United States, Israel’s main protector, would not participate in an Israeli counter-strike.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Netanyahu in a call on Tuesday that escalation in the Middle East was in nobody’s interest and would only worsen insecurity in the region, so it was “a moment for calm heads to prevail”, Sunak’s office said.

Japan Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa “strongly urged Israel to exercise restraint” during a call with her Israeli counterpart Israel Kantz on Tuesday evening, according to a readout of the call issued by Japan’s foreign ministry.

The prospect of Israeli retaliation has alarmed many Iranians already enduring economic pain and tighter social and political controls since major protests in 2022-23.



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