Iran must face sanctions for supplying Putin with drones

John Bolton discusses sanctions in Iran

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Iran must face more sanctions for supplying Vladimir Putin with kamikaze drones which killed at least four people, including a pregnant woman, in Kyiv yesterday alone, US foreign policy heavyweight John Bolton has said. And the ex-National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump believes the Tehran regime is in “serious trouble” in the wake of widespread strikes and protests.

Speaking yesterday, John Sennett, a former US Marine who lives in the Ukrainian capital with Belarusian wife Natasha, told how he heard several drones flying over his apartment, one of which created into an apartment block killing several and injuring many more.

Ukraine has said the drones in question are Shahed-36 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provided by Iran – with Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeting: “Iran is responsible for the murders of Ukrainians.“

Several EU foreign ministers are pushing for sanctions against Iran – and Mr Bolton concurred.

He said: “It’s one more example of why the regime in Iran needs to be overthrown.

“These people are trying to develop a deliverable nuclear weapons programme.

“They’re repressing their own people and have probably killed 200 to 400 people in the past several weeks and the demonstrations are growing now.

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“Oil workers are striking, steel workers are striking and I think the Islamic Revolution is in real trouble – and in the middle of it, they’re also selling these drones to Russia.

“So if we could avoid being distracted by other things, I think what the US and other countries, France, Germany, Britain, ought to be doing is saying how can we help the opposition in Iran in a more threatening position to the regime than at any point since 1979.”

The United States will continue to take “practical, aggressive” steps to make it harder for Iran to sell drones and missiles to Russia, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said today, adding that Washington had a number of tools to hold both Moscow and Tehran accountable.

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Speaking at a daily press briefing, Patel did not provide further details on the steps but pointed out that Washington has already used sanctions and export controls as a response.

He also said a deepening alliance between Russia and Iran was a phenomenon that the world should view as a “profound threat.”

Also today, The Pentagon said it did not have information at this time to corroborate reports that Iran has promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles, as well as more drones.

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Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters: “I don’t have any information to corroborate that at this time.”

A deal is believed to have been agreed on October 6 when Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, two senior officials from Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards and an official from the Supreme National Security Council visited Moscow for talks with Russia about the delivery of the weapons.

As many as 23 children have been killed in ongoing mass protests in Iran triggered by the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last month, a spokesperson for the United Nations human rights office told a briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.

The deaths were caused by live ammunition, metal pellets at close range, and fatal beatings, the rights office said, adding that an unspecified number of children had been arrested during school raids, and some sent for psychological treatment.

Although the ongoing unrest does not appear close to toppling the system, the protests have widened into strikes that have closed shops and businesses, touched the vital energy sector and inspired brazen acts of dissent against Iran’s religious rule.

A video posted by the Norway-based organisation Iran Human Rights purported to show protests in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Iran’s second most populous city, with demonstrators chanting “Clerics get lost” and drivers honking their horns.

Videos posted by the group showed a strike by shopkeepers in the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez – Amini’s home town.

Another video on social media showed female high school students chanting “Woman, Life, Freedom” on the streets of Sanandaj, the capital of Kurdistan province.

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