US Sanctions Network Supporting Iran's Drone, Military Programs

Wednesday, 04/19/2023

The United States Wednesday imposed sanctions on a network it accused of supporting Iran's drone and military programs, aimed at increasing pressure on Tehran.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said it imposed sanctions on the head of Iran’s Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA), which was already under US sanctions, and the entity's front companies and suppliers in Iran, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China that Washington said have enabled PASNA's procurement of goods and technology.

It marks the latest move by Washington targeting Iran's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry.

"The network sanctioned today has procured goods and technology for the Iranian government and its defense industry and UAV program," the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.

"Treasury will continue to enforce its sanctions against Iran’s military procurement efforts that contribute to regional insecurity and global instability."

The Treasury targeted the managing director of PASNA, accusing him of being responsible for the company's sanctions evasion efforts. It said he used front companies to seek a variety of electronic components from suppliers based primarily in China.

Three China-based suppliers of PASNA were also targeted in Wednesday's action alongside a Hong Kong-based company, a Malaysia-based front company and one based in Iran.

The latest US move against Iran comes as efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between Tehran and the West became increasingly strained as Iran's security forces violently put down the protests following the death of a Kurdish woman in the custody of the morality police last September.

Wednesday's sanctions followed charges filed a day earlier or another network financing Iran-backed Hezbollah.

Reporting by Reuters

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