The US has placed sanctions on entities and individuals based in Iran and three other countries for what it called aiding Iran’s drone program, repeating its unsubstantiated claim of Tehran’s support for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.
The US Treasury Department said in a statement on Wednesday that it had put sanctions on five entities and two people based in Iran, Turkey, China and the UAE, claiming they were part of a network helping procure sensitive parts for Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicle program.
The Treasury statement claimed the network facilitated shipments and financial transactions for the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ procurement of sensitive parts used in Iranian drones. It claimed a motor procured by the network was recently found in the remains of a Russia-operated drone in Ukraine.
The US has so far imposed similar sanctions on a number of entities and individuals based in Iran and other countries, accusing them of supporting Tehran’s drone development.
Washington and its allies have long accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.
Iran has repeatedly rejected Washington’s claim, saying it has not sold any weapons to Russia to be used in the war against Ukraine, and asked the West to offer evidence for the allegation.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that Tehran had provided Moscow with a limited number of drones, but the delivery had taken place months before the war in Ukraine.
Iran’s military development has been a target of many Western sanctions throughout recent decades.
In July 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US was planning a sanctions campaign against Iran’s defensive drones and guided missiles program, six months after the administration of President Joe Biden was sworn in.
Citing unnamed US officials, the daily said the sanctions were aimed at disrupting the development of Iran’s weapons program.