A drone put on display for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

US Slaps Fresh Sanctions On Entities Aiding Iran’s Drone Production

Wednesday, 09/27/2023

As a fresh Ukrainian report outlined the use of Western parts in Iranian-made drones, Washington issued a set of fresh sanctions on a procurement network Wednesday.

The network has facilitated shipments and financial transactions in support of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) procurement of a critical component used in Iran's Shahed-136 drones, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The move is the latest in a series of recent Western sanctions on Iran for supplying hundreds of kamikaze Shahed drones to Russia. Moscow has used the lethal weapon to attack civilian and infrastructure targets, as well as to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses during large missile attacks.

Wednesday's action targets entities and individuals in Iran, China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the department said.

"Iranian-made UAVs continue to be a key tool for Russia in its attacks in Ukraine, including those that terrorize Ukrainian citizens and attack its critical infrastructure," Treasury official Brian Nelson said in a statement. He added, “The United States, in coordination with our allies and partners, will persist in holding accountable those who contribute to Iran’s proliferation of its UAVs to Russia, its proxies in the Middle East, and other destabilizing actors.”

The statement said this network facilitated shipments and financial transactions in support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force Self Sufficiency Jihad Organization’s (IRGC ASF SSJO) procurement of servomotors, a critical component used in Iran’s Shahed-series UAVs. 

Iran-based Pishgam Electronic Safeh Company has been the main procurement vehicle for the regime and topped the list of those sanctioned Wednesday. HongKong Himark Electron Model Limited was one of the suppliers along with two Turkish companies.

Iranian kamikaze drones on display in Tehran

The implications of the sanctions is that all properties and assets belonging to these entities and individuals involved within the United States will be blocked.

“In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals or entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals or entities designated today pursuant to E.O. 13382 could be subject to U.S. sanctions, The Treasury’s statement said.

A confidential report from the Ukrainian government, revealed on Wednesday, exposed the utilization of European components in Iranian kamikaze drones used against Ukraine.

The document, shared with Western allies, advocates for the procurement of long-range missiles to target drone production facilities in Russia, Iran, and Syria, as reported by The Guardian on Wednesday.

The comprehensive 47-page report, delivered to G7 nations in August, discloses that over the past three months, more than 600 drone assaults leveraged unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) incorporating Western technology. Notably, the Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drone models, containing 52 and 57 electrical components, respectively, sourced from Western companies, have been at the forefront.

Several reports in the past year have outlined also US and Canadian parts being used by Iran, including an engine originally developed by a Quebec-based company Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP).

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