The US on Tuesday imposed sanctions on seven people and four companies in China, Russia and Turkey who officials allege are connected with the development of Iran’s drone program, The Associated Press reported.
The parties sanctioned by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control include: An Iranian drone company previously sanctioned in 2008, now doing business as Shahin Co., its managing executives, a group of Russian parts manufacturers and two Turkish money exchangers, Mehmet Tokdemir and Alaaddin Aykut.
The Treasury said the action builds on a set of sanctions it issued last March, when it sanctioned 39 firms linked to an alleged shadow banking system that helped to obfuscate financial activity between sanctioned Iranian firms and their foreign buyers, namely for petrochemicals produced in Iran.
Brian E. Nelson, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Iran’s “continued, deliberate proliferation” of its drone program enables Russia “and other destabilizing actors to undermine global stability.”
“The United States will continue to take action” against Iran’s drone program, he said, as quoted by AP.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the US “will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt these efforts and will work with Allies and partners to hold Iran accountable for its actions.”
The newly imposed sanctions deny the people and firms access to any property or financial assets held in the US and prevent US companies and citizens from doing business with them.
The US accuses Iran of supplying Russia with drones used to bomb Ukrainian civilians as the Kremlin continues its invasion of Ukraine.
Last year, the US said it had intelligence indicating that Russia is looking to Iran for UAVs.
In June, a US intelligence finding said that Iran is providing Russia with materials to build a drone manufacturing plant east of Moscow as the Kremlin looks to lock in a steady supply of weaponry for its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Last month, The Washington Post reported that Russia is preparing, with the help of Iran, to produce more than 6,000 attack drones by 2025.
Iran has denied supplying drones to Russia.