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‘Very limited impact, it is a small action’

Brussels – The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell repeats the call for “greatest restraint for all actors” following reports of Israel’s attack this morning (April 19) on a military base in Isfahan, a province in central Iran. Tel Aviv’s response to the hundreds of missiles and drones launched by Tehran on April 13 comes despite the European Council’s call to take all precautions to avoid a dangerous escalation.

In Brussels they turn a blind eye and throw water on the fire: “We have seen very limited impact,” a senior EU official said: “It is true that we asked for nothing to be done, but it is a small action.” In short, the thesis is that if this was the feared retaliation for the Iranian attack, one can breathe a sigh of relief, since the explosions in Isfahan reportedly did not cause any significant damage according to Iranian authorities, and, more importantly, because Tehran is reportedly tentative not planning to respond to the provocation.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell, in Capri for the G7 of Foreign Ministers, 19/4/24

The Iranian offensive of April 13, which the regime was forced to launch in response to the Israeli bombing of Tehran’s embassy complex in Damascus, was “a huge strategic mistake,” said a senior official in Brussels, because “it is clear that Israel is now gaining a political advantage in Gaza from Iran’s attack.” It shifted the focus to the regional scale of the conflict – overshadowing the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza – and inevitably brought the West closer to Israel. So much so that even at the level of the 27 Member States, while the destruction of the Iranian embassy in Syria by the Israeli army was not condemned because “the Member States see it differently”, the EU countries stated in the conclusions of the European summit that they “should take additional restrictive measures against Iran‘ in response to his dangerous military aggression.

A political agreement could be reached as early as Monday, April 22, at the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. “We’ve been discussing this for a while. The Iranian attack on Israel has only strengthened the discussion,” EU sources explain. In addition to the sanctions regime for human rights violations, the Islamic Republic is also subject to: framework of restrictive measures on the transfer of military drones To Russia.

The idea of ​​the European External Action Service (EEAS) is to expand the sanctions regime by also including missiles and expanding it geographically, that is, by sanctioning not only equipment for Moscow, but also the transfer of drones and missiles to non-state countries. groups and organizations close to Tehran in the region. The EEAS is also said to be looking for legal guidance to hit Iran with sanctions, not only on the transfer of missiles and drones, but also their production. However, the green light that may come on Monday only concerns the framework: “So far there are no names and entities,” the source clarified.

English version by Withub translation service