The White House said it is preparing to impose additional sanctions on Iran for its support of Russia in its war against Ukraine as it blared alarms on Thursday about the possibility of Tehran selling ballistic missiles to Moscow.

“In response to Iran’s ongoing support for Russia’s brutal war, we will be imposing additional sanctions on Iran in the coming days,” White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said on a call with reporters. “And we are prepared to go further if Iran sells ballistic missiles to Russia.”

For months, the White House has condemned Iran for aiding Russia in its war efforts and has particularly warned about the potential Tehran may sell Moscow ballistic missiles that could be used to kill Ukrainian civilians.

However, Kirby on Thursday noted that thus far, the U.S. has “not seen any confirmation that missiles have actually moved from Iran to Russia.” Nonetheless, he went on, the U.S. has “no reason” to believe that Iran would not “follow through.”

“If Iran proceeds with this provision of ballistic missiles, I can assure you that the response from the international community will be swift and it will be severe,” Kirby told reporters.

Kirby also used the moment to call on the U.S. House to pass the foreign aid bill that cleared the Senate earlier this month. The package, which includes billions in additional U.S. assistance to Ukraine, is currently in limbo in the GOP controlled House where Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., has not committed to putting it up for a vote.

“Consider what Ukraine is up against,” Kirby said. “Russia is receiving arms and ammunition from Iran and North Korea. We also remain concerned about the support that [Chinese] companies are providing to the Russian defense industrial base.”

“Meanwhile,” Kirby said, “the U.S. House of Representatives is leaving Ukraine to fend for themselves.”

Over the last few weeks, the U.S. has struck back at Iranian-backed militant groups for their attacks in the Middle East, where the Israel-Hamas war is raging. Biden last month said he puts some responsibility on Iran for the drone attack carried out by groups backed by Tehran that killed three U.S. service members in Jordan.

“I do hold them responsible in the sense that they’re supplying the weapons to the people who did it,” Biden said at the time, speaking of Iran.

The White House has also pledged to unveil a “major sanctions package” against Russia on Friday for the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny last week as well as for its nearly two-year-old invasion of Ukraine.

Asked about the package during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he is attending the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday offered little details about its contents.

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Biden made clear just hours after the news of Navalny’s death broke that he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible.

“Reports of his death, if they’re true — and I have no reason to believe they’re not, Russian authorities are going to tell their own story — but make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” Biden said at the White House last week. “Putin is responsible. What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality. No one should be fooled.”

The president on Thursday met with Nalvany’s widow and daughter in California, just one night after he called Putin a “crazy SOB” at a private donor reception in the Golden State.

Source » ny1