US sanctions Iranian company for supplying drones to Russia

Agencia AJN.- The United States Treasury Department has sanctioned an Iranian company that sent drones to Russia for use in the invasion of Ukraine, as well as three other Iranian companies for their involvement in drone production, the Treasury Department said Thursday.

Tehran-based Safiran Airport Services was sanctioned for coordinating Russian military flights between Iran and Russia, including flights carrying Iranian drones, personnel and related equipment from Iran to Russia. After assembly and testing, the Russian Aerospace Forces intend to deploy the UAV in the war in Ukraine, according to the Treasury Department announcement.

Closely linked to Imam Hossein University, which is controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the company Paravar Pars has produced drones for the IRGC’s aerospace force and tested drones for the IRGC’s navy.

The company was specifically involved in the research, development and production of Iran’s Shahed-171 unmanned aerial vehicle, and received US- and Israeli-made drones from the IRGC, which it then retrofitted to replicate Iranian-made versions.

The Aircraft Engine Design and Manufacturing Company (DAMA) was involved in the research, development and production of Iran’s IRGC Shahed-171 unmanned aerial vehicle program, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The company serves as a front for the covert procurement activities of Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (HESA), which is affiliated with the Iranian Armed Forces’ Ministry of Defense and Logistics. DAMA is involved in providing equipment to modify UAV components that will be produced locally by the IRGC and used in the IRGC’s UAVs. The company has also been involved in the production and supply of equipment for intended use in jet engines for the IRGC.

The Baharestan Kish company is responsible for several defense-related projects, including the production of unmanned aerial vehicles. Since last year, the company has been working on the components of the Shahed UAV.

The company’s chief executive, Rehmatola Heydari, was also sanctioned on Thursday.

All property and interests of sanctioned persons and entities in the US or owned or controlled by US persons must be frozen and reported to the Treasury Department’s Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

“Russia is making increasingly desperate decisions to continue its unprovoked war against Ukraine, especially in the face of our unprecedented sanctions and export controls,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.

“The United States is determined to strictly enforce our sanctions against Russia and Iran and hold Iran and those who support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine accountable. We will also not hesitate to target manufacturers and buyers who contribute to Iran and its IRGC’s drone program, further demonstrating our determination to continue to pursue the terrorist brokers destabilizing the Middle East. Non-Iranian and non-Russian entities should also exercise extreme caution to avoid supporting the development of Iranian drones or their transfer, or selling any military equipment to Russia for use against Ukraine.

In August, Iran, Russia, Belarus and Armenia launched a military drone competition in Kashan, central Iran, just days after the United States confirmed that Russian officers were being trained to use Iranian drones.

More than 70 soldiers from the four countries are participating in the tournament, which includes five stages of physical training and shooting and four drone divisions, including aerial reconnaissance for three days, air support and correction of artillery fire, night reconnaissance and constant reconnaissance, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard This is what Brigadier General of the Corps (IRGC) Ali Bilali told Iranian media.

In August, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters that the US was able to confirm that Russian officials had conducted training in Iran in recent weeks as part of a planned drone transfer.

“We will vigorously enforce all US sanctions on the Russian and Iranian arms trade.” The type of transactions you mention are potentially sanctioned by multiple authorities, including but not limited to specific Russian authorities and our global non-proliferation sanctions,” Patel said.

“We remain incredibly concerned about Iran’s use and proliferation of drones. They have been used to attack US forces, our partners in the region, and international carriers. We will continue to use all available tools, including but not limited to sanctions, to prevent, deter, and disrupt the supply network that supplies UAV-related materials and technology to Iran.

In July, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that Iran was preparing to supply Russia with several hundred drones, including some that could be armed.

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