G7 to impose sanctions on Iranian airlines if Iran ships missiles to Russia

Should Iran proceed with the missile deal with Russia, it may be subject to severe extra sanctions from the West. If Iran provides Russia with ballistic missiles or associated technologies, the G7 nations threaten to forbid Iran’s airlines from operating flights to Europe.

The Group of Seven reaffirmed its demand that outside parties cease materially supporting Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggressive war against Ukraine.

“Extremely concerned by reports that Iran is considering transferring ballistic missiles and related technologies to Russia after providing the Russian regime with drones used in continuous attacks on civilians in Ukraine… If Iran continues to supply Russia with ballistic missiles or related technologies, we are prepared to respond quickly and in a coordinated manner, including with new and significant measures against Iran.

G7 statement

According to the Group of Seven, Tehran’s backing for the war in Ukraine would significantly escalate if Iran were to provide Russia with ballistic missiles, which would further enhance regional destabilization.

Under anonymity, a senior official announced that the G7 was considering suspending Iran Air’s flights to Europe, Reuters reported.

As part of agreements to strengthen cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, Reuters reported, citing sources, that Iran had shipped multiple batches of its surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Russia in the first months of 2024.

Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations refuted the reports.

For months, the US administration has expressed concern that, in an effort to restock its depleting arsenal, Moscow may be looking to Iran for short-range ballistic missiles.

Although the US has not yet verified that missiles have been transferred from Iran to Russia, remarks made by Iranian officials implying that a deal is close to being reached have worried the US and the G7 nations.

The US was concerned about an impending deal when Iran invited Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in September to demonstrate a variety of ballistic missile weapons, according to the White House.

In order to prevent private companies from unintentionally aiding Iran’s production efforts, the US and other nations have taken steps to obstruct the supply, sale, or transfer of Iran-related goods and ballistic missile-related items.

Meanwhile, Russia is looking for various sources of missile supplies for its war. Russia has obtained North Korean ballistic missiles and used them to strike Ukrainian cities. However, Ukraine says that the weapons have routinely missed their targets.

Since September 2022, Russian invading forces have attacked military and civilian facilities throughout Ukraine with Shahed loitering drones manufactured in Iran, many of which killed civilians.

Russians typically launch Shahed kamikaze drones in waves of several dozen at a time, aiming to breach Ukrainian air defenses. According to Ukrainian authorities, several dozen Shahed drones destroyed residential buildings in many Ukrainian regions in March, killing and wounding many civilians.

Iran admitted that it had supplied a limited quantity of drones to Russia prior to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, but initially denied having done so. However, the Ukrainian military say that Irian-made UAVs used by Russians to attack Ukraine were produced in 2022–23, based on the analysis of the UAV’s parts found on the attacked sites.

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