US targets Iranian drone industry in latest round of sanctions | Russia-Ukraine war News

Sanctions target companies and individuals accused of buying drone parts on behalf of the Iranian government.

The United States has announced its latest round of sanctions against Iran’s drone and missile production, this time focusing on firms and individuals allegedly procuring equipment for Tehran’s drone program.

In a statement Tuesday, the US Treasury Department said the targeted “procurement network” works on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), which oversees firms involved in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and ballistic missiles .

The latest sanctions came as US officials continued to accuse Iran of supplying drones to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022. The European Union has also targeted Iran’s drone industry with sanctions.

“Iran’s well-documented proliferation of UAVs and conventional weapons to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability,” Brian Nelson, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury Department, said in a statement.

“The United States will continue to uncover foreign procurement networks in any jurisdiction that supports Iran’s military-industrial complex.”

Those named in Tuesday’s sanctions include the Iran-based Defense Technology and Science Research Center, its procurement firm Farazan Industrial Engineering Inc and two other firms, as well as corporate buyers.

Equipment purchased by the network included “engines of European origin” for unmanned aerial vehicles, the statement said.

As a result of the sanctions, the targeted companies are denied access to any US property or financial assets in the country. US companies are also prevented from doing business with the identified individuals.

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The sanctions are just Washington’s latest action against Iranian drone manufacturing.

Most recently, in early March, the US Treasury Department sanctioned a network of Chinese companies for sourcing equipment supporting Iran’s drone program.

In January, Washington also sanctioned seven senior executives at Iranian companies that make drones.

“Iran must end its support for Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression in Ukraine, and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors involved in these activities,” the US Secretary of State said Antony Blinken in the statement at the time.

The US has also accused Tehran of violating international law by failing to obtain United Nations Security Council approval to sell drones.

In February, US defense officials released an analysis seeking to prove that Iranian drones were being used by Russia in Ukraine.

For its part, Iran has maintained a defiant stance on the issue, saying international criticism of its drone program stems from concerns that it could become a competitor in global arms sales.

Still, Tehran said it has not provided Russia with any drones for use in Ukraine beyond “a limited number” of the air explosives given to Moscow before the invasion.


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