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US announces new sanctions over Iran’s drones, military aircraft

File photo shows the headquarters of the US Department of Treasury in the US capital of Washington.

The US government has announced new sanctions related to Iran’s military aviation activity by blacklisting Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Turkish entities for their alleged support for Iran’s legitimate program to develop drones and military aircraft.

Seven individuals and four entities in the four countries were targeted by the US Department of Treasury in a series of sanctions announced on Tuesday for what it said was their alleged role to facilitate “shipments and financial transactions” to the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA).

In a statement, the Treasury repeated Washington’s unproven claims about Iran’s supply of drones to Russia for use in the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Iran has denied any involvement in the war in Ukraine while calling US accusations an attempt to mask its own role in the conflict.

The US Treasury said it had earlier imposed sanctions on five companies based in China and one individual for their role in the supply of aerospace components, including parts used for drones, to HESA.

The sanctions come just a day after the United States and Iran announced the conclusion of a prisoner exchange deal which also led to the release of some $6 billion worth of Iranian funds that had remained frozen in South Korea because of US sanctions.

Regional countries have expressed hope that the prisoner deal could open the way for more talks between Iran and the US to revive an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA, more than five years after it was abandoned by the US.

However, Iranian officials have indicated that Washington’s unbridled use of sanctions against Iran is a sign that it is unwilling to revive the JCPOA despite statements suggesting the opposite.

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