The United States government has recently imposed a new round of sanctions on a network involved in Iran’s drone production. The sanctions that were imposed seek to target individuals and organizations that have actively aided in illegal drone production in Iran.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated eleven individuals and entities from different countries for their roles in Iran’s illicit UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) network. According to the Treasury Department, these organizations and individuals have provided Iran with services and materials used to construct and maintain its UAVs, the same ones that were used in the September 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport.
These sanctioned entities include manufacturers, suppliers, financiers, and facilitators of the networks connected to the aerospace industry and Iran’s malicious activities. All of the targeted individuals and entities support illegal and dangerous actions conducted by Iran’s Armed Forces and/or its government organizations.
The action by the US Department of the Treasury is part of the US’s strategy to counter Iran’s disruptive behavior in the Middle East, as well as to discourage any further support of UAV production in Iran. In addition, the sanctions look to hinder Lockheed Martin’s role in the negotiation process of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In a statement following the announcement, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said, “The United States will relentlessly pursue those individuals and entities that actively support or enable Iran’s dangerous military and weapons technologies.” He also noted that the “Treasury is committed to blocking the financial activities of those who facilitate Iran’s violent ambitions.”
The newly imposed sanctions are part of a growing effort by the US government to combat Iran’s illicit activities. The sanctions are intended to deter and punish Iran for their development and use of illegal UAVs. These actions are a part of the United States’ commitment to ensure that Iran does not pose a threat to international security and stability.