US Blacklists Iranian Weapons Companies For Supplying Russia’s War Effort

(Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Iranian companies and persons involved in the transfer of Iranian-made drones to burnish Russia’s weapons inventories and other support to the Russian war effort on Thursday.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned Tehran-based Safiran Airport Services for coordinating transport flights for Iranian weapons, personnel and other support equipment to Russia after the U.S. prohibited inbound flights to Russia and support for Russia’s harmful activity. The sanctions come after the U.S. first revealed evidence Iran had agreed to make and ship unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia in July, and later reports indicated that Russia has deployed Iran-made drones in the war.

The U.S. is “holding accountable Iran and those supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said.

The sanctions encompass three weapons development and manufacturing companies closely associated with the clerical regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a paramilitary force responsible for terrorist activity abroad and recent assassination attempts against U.S. national security leaders.

As a consequence of the sanctions, all property and interests belonging to the designated entities in the U.S. or in control of U.S. persons will be blocked, according to the Treasury Department. Individuals from the U.S. and other countries who conduct business dealings with the sanctioned entities may also be subject themselves to sanctions.

Iran intends to transfer hundreds of drones for Russia, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in July. (RELATED: Biden Presses Forward With Iran Deal As Islamic Republic Escalates Support For Russia, Terrorist Groups)

“We will also not hesitate to target producers and procurers who contribute to Iran and its IRGC’s UAV program, further demonstrating our resolve to continue going after terrorist proxies that destabilize the Middle East,” Nelson added.

The U.S. designated the IRCG as a terrorist organization in 2020 and placed it under heavy sanctions in 2013.

Both Iran and Russia have well-established avenues for skirting designations, however.

Russia has reportedly forged a deal with North Korea for export of artillery munitions and other possible military equipment despite longstanding sanctions on the communist country’s arms industry. U.S. government officials say Russia’s pivot toward countries like Iran and North Korea for equipment to supply the ongoing war in Ukraine suggests Russia’s own arsenal has depleted significantly, and that sanctions against Russia are having their intended effect.

Russia experienced severe technical difficulties with the Iranian UAVs during initial tests, U.S. security officials told The Washington Post.

Washington also sanctioned Iran’s intelligence agency and minister of intelligence for sponsoring a sustained cyberattack campaign against the U.S. and its allies Friday. The move was in response to a series of attacks on the Albanian government’s computer systems in July that caused a suspension of some government services.

The Iranian mission did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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