US sanctions target enablers of Iran’s drone production

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The US on Friday issued sanctions targeting entities it accused of enabling Iran’s drone program, in Washington’s latest action seeking to disrupt the production and proliferation of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) used by Russia against Ukraine.

“Today’s action reinforces our commitment to disrupt Iran’s production and proliferation of deadly UAVs that continue to be used by Russia against Ukraine and by regional terrorist proxies against our troops,” US Treasury Department Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in a statement.

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“Treasury will continue to impose costs on those who seek to procure the components Iran needs for its UAV programs and enable the shipment of these weapons to destabilizing actors around the world.”

Iran has supplied thousands of Shahed kamikaze drones to Russia throughout its invasion of Ukraine launched in February 2022. They have been used to exhaust Ukrainian air defenses and hit infrastructure far from the front lines.

The Treasury said it imposed sanctions on four entities that have procured critical parts for Iran’s drone program as well as an executive of Iran Aviation Industries Organization (IAIO), a subsidiary of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL).

The Treasury said Afshin Khajeh Fard, the chief of IAIO, oversees its efforts to produce drones and missiles.

Friday’s action freezes any of their US assets and generally bars Americans from dealing with them. Those that engage in certain transactions with them also risk being hit with sanctions.

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