The United States and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Iran on Thursday, April 18, targeting “the Iranian drone program, the steel industry and automobile manufacturers,” after this weekend’s attack. against Israel. Washington’s sanctions target “sixteen individuals and two entities enabling the production of Iranian drones”, including the Shaheds, which “were used during the April 13 attack”, the Treasury Department announced in a press release. They also concern three subsidiaries of the Iranian automobile manufacturer Bahman Group and the Iranian Ministry of Defense.

US President Joe Biden said the United States would continue to hold Iran “accountable” with new sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic. He assured that they were intended to “limit Iran’s destabilizing military programs,” according to a White House press release.

The sanctions imposed by London target “several Iranian military organizations, individuals and entities involved in the Iranian drone and ballistic missile industries,” the Treasury said. Iran launched more than 350 drones and missiles against Israel overnight from Saturday to Sunday, almost all of which were intercepted in flight. Tehran presented its attack as a response to the deadly strike blamed on Israel which targeted the Iranian consulate in Damascus in early April.

In response, Western countries have promised to strengthen their sanctions against Iran, but also want to avoid an escalation of violence in the region. The European Union thus decided, Wednesday, during a summit in Brussels, to impose new sanctions targeting Iranian producers of drones and missiles. On Thursday, the head of German diplomacy, Annalena Baerbock, declared that the leaders of the G7 countries, meeting on the Italian island of Capri, were discussing “additional measures”, while insisting on the need to avoid “an escalation “.

G7 countries (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy) are expected to call for individual sanctions against individuals involved in Iran’s missile and drone supply chain, according to a source at within the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And the finance ministers and central bankers of the G7, meeting in Washington, had promised, in a press release Wednesday evening, to ensure “close coordination of any future measures aimed at weakening Iran’s capacity to acquire, produce or transfer weapons to support its destabilizing regional activities.” They also called “for stability across the region, given the economic risks posed by regional escalation, including disruptions to international shipping.”

A senior Iranian military official has warned Israel of the possibility of an attack targeting its nuclear sites, saying Iran was prepared to launch “powerful missiles” at Israeli nuclear facilities in retaliation.

“If the Zionist regime wants to take action against our nuclear centers and facilities, it will certainly face our reaction. For the counterattack, the regime’s nuclear facilities will be targeted with advanced weaponry,” warned General Ahmad Haghtalab, head of the nuclear security division within the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the official news agency.

General Haghtalab specified that “the nuclear centers of the Zionist enemy” were “identified” and that Tehran had “the necessary information on all targets”. “Hands are on the trigger to fire powerful missiles for the total destruction of determined targets,” he warned, according to IRNA.

President Emmanuel Macron will receive the President of the Lebanese Council of Ministers (Prime Minister), Najib Mikati, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Lebanese Army, Joseph Aoun, on Friday in Paris, in a context of strong internal and regional tensions, announced the Elysée.

The head of the Lebanese government is expected at midday at the Elysée Palace, his press office said, while Lebanon is plunged into a major political crisis and threatened by a risk of escalation in the Middle East after Iran’s attack on Israel.

The Lebanese chief of staff, who already met European counterparts in March in Italy, seeking help for his army, will also be present, added the French presidency, without further details.

The Middle East is on the edge of the “precipice” of a “widespread regional conflict”, warned the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, before the Security Council, also denouncing the “humanitarian hell” created by Israeli operations in Gaza.

“A miscalculation, a bad communication, a mistake, could lead to the unthinkable, a widespread regional conflict, which would be devastating for all those concerned, and for the rest of the world,” he said, condemning in particular again Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel this weekend.

“This moment of maximum danger must be a moment of maximum restraint,” he argued. “It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation. »