US sanctions Iranian drone procurement network

US sanctions Iranian drone procurement network

Shafaq News / The United States on Wednesday placed sanctions on entities and people based in China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran for aiding the Iranian attack drone program, which Washington accuses of supplying such weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine.

The U.S. Treasury said it put sanctions on five entities and two people who were part of a network helping procure sensitive parts - including servomotors, which help control position and speed - for Iran's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.

The network facilitated shipments and financial transactions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' procurement of such motors used in Iran's Shahed-136 drones, it said, adding that a motor procured by the network was found recently in the remains of a Russia-operated Shahed-136 drone shot down in Ukraine.

"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 Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.

Iran says it has not provided Russia with drones for use in Ukraine.

The United States and its allies imposed extensive sanctions on Russia after its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine. But supply channels from Black Sea neighbor Turkey and other trading hubs have remained open, prompting Washington to issue repeated warnings about the export of chemicals, microchips and other products that can be used in Moscow's war effort.

Washington has also previously said there is "poor sanctions compliance" in the United Arab Emirates.

The Treasury named the sanctions targets as Iran-based Pishgam Electronic Safeh Company (PESC), which it said had procured thousands of servomotors with one-way attack drone uses, and its chief executive Hamid Reza Janghorbani.

The Treasury targeted Hong Kong-based Hongkong Himark Electron Model Limited (Hongkong Himark), which it said had fulfilled servomotor orders for PESC in Iran, and China-based Hongkong Himark official Fan Yang.


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