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US imposes sanctions on officials linked to Iranian companies of drones used by Russia

In this image obtained on May 28, drones are seen at an underground location in an undisclosed location in Iran. (Iranian Army/WANA/Reuters)

The US Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on officials linked to an Iranian defense manufacturer that designs and produces unmanned aerial vehicles that have been used in the Ukraine war, as well as the head of “the key organization responsible for oversee Iran’s ballistic missile programs”.

The new US sanctions affect “six executives and members of the board of directors of Qods Aviation Industries, designated by the United States”, and the head of the Organization of Aerospace Industries of Iran, according to a Treasury statement.

“We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to deny Putin the weapons he is using to wage his barbaric and unprovoked war against Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

“The Kremlin’s reliance on suppliers of last resort like Iran shows its despair at the courageous Ukrainian resistance and the success of our global coalition in disrupting Russian military supply chains and denying them the supplies they need to replace weapons lost in the field. battle,” Yellen said. “The United States will move swiftly against individuals and entities that support Iran’s ballistic missile and unmanned aerial vehicle programs and will stand resolutely in support of the people of Ukraine.”

CNN has reported how, according to an assessment by Ukrainian intelligence services, parts made by more than a dozen American and Western companies were found inside a single Iranian Shahed-136 drone shot down in Ukraine last fall.

In December, the White House created a task force to investigate how American and Western-made technology — from smaller pieces of equipment like semiconductors and GPS modules to larger parts like motors — has ended up in Iranian drones.

CNN’s Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.

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