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G7 Warns Iran Not To Give Russia Ballistic Missiles For Ukraine War

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Friday, 15 March, 2024, 22:06
G7 Warns Iran Not To Give Russia Ballistic Missiles For Ukraine War

The Group of Seven (G7) industrialised powers told Iran on Friday not to transfer ballistic missiles to Russia to use in its conflict with Ukraine, warning that they would take action against Tehran if it did so.

"Were Iran to proceed with providing ballistic missiles or related technology to Russia, we are prepared to respond swiftly and in a coordinated manner including with new and significant measures against Iran," the G7 leaders said in a statement.

Iran has provided Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, sources told Reuters last month, deepening the military cooperation between the two countries, which are both under US sanctions.

A senior US official told a small group of reporters on Friday that G7 nations are prepared to respond with severe new penalties that could include a ban on Iran Air flights to Europe if Iran proceeds with the transfer of close-range ballistic missiles to Russia. "Our message today is, if Iran proceeds with providing Russia with ballistic missiles, the response from the international community will be swift and severe," the official said.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one option under consideration "would have the effect of ending flights from Iran Air, its flagship state-owned carrier, into Europe -- point being, this is not business as usual."

The G7 group of major Western democracies is currently chaired by Italy and also includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France and Canada.

The statement came as the European Union is also considering measures against Iran for arming Russia, Reuters reported this week.

UN Security Council restrictions on Iran's export of some missiles, drones and other technologies expired in October. However, the United States and European Union retained sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program amid concerns over exports of weapons to its proxies in the Middle East and to Russia.

The United States has said Iran has already provided Russia with drones, guided aerial bombs and artillery ammunition that Moscow has used to attack Ukrainian targets.