US officials have attributed the prevention of specific weapons parts sales to Iran to a controversial surveillance tool.
The CIA and various intelligence agencies leveraged data collected through monitoring the electronic communications of foreign weapons manufacturers, reported Politico on Tuesday.
The surveillance effort successfully thwarted multiple shipments of advanced weapons components intended for Iran via land, air, and sea.
The initiative is in line with the administration's broader objectives to curb Iran's ballistic missile program. Officials express concerns that Iran might be using the program to support Russia in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Additionally, efforts are directed towards limiting Iran's involvement in conflicts with wider implications for US national security, including the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The revelation serves as the administration's latest argument in favor of reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before its expiration at the end of the year, underscoring its perceived significance for national security.
Officials emphasized the instrumental role of Section 702 in halting weapons sales to Iran. The process involved identifying US-made supplies needed by Iran through other intelligence means and subsequently querying the 702 database for detailed intelligence on the components, including cost, timing, and size.
Specific details about the manufacturers or components involved were not disclosed, and officials spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of intelligence matters.
Last month, the UN sent letters to countries announcing the end of bans on Iran's missile program, removing barriers for the clerical regime to sell dangerous technologies. Iran, historically allied with Russia, faces accusations of supplying lethal drones to Moscow for use in Ukraine, though it asserts its neutrality in the conflict.