The United States imposed on Thursday sanctions on a network of companies based in China for accusations of having sent aerospace parts to an Iranian company involved in the production of drones that Tehran has used to attack oil tankers and exported to Russia for the war in Ukraine.
The US Treasury Department reported in a statement that it imposed sanctions on five companies and one person whom it accused of supporting Iran’s efforts to acquire unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
According to Treasury, the network is responsible for the sale and shipment of thousands of aerospace components, including those that can be used for UAV applications, to the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company.
This company has been involved in the production of the unmanned aerial vehicle model shahed-136 that Iran has used to attack tankers and has exported to Russia, according to the Treasury. Putin’s forces caused heavy damage and numerous deaths using these drones against Ukraine, especially in their early stages when local forces did not have any specific technology to effectively stop them.
“Iran is directly implicated in Ukrainian civilian casualties resulting from Russia’s use of Iranian UAVs in UkraineTreasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in the statement.
The companies sanctioned include Chinese companies from Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin and Hong Kong that the Treasury says sent light engines and other drone components to HESA, controlled by the Iranian Defense Ministry.
“The United States will continue to target global Iranian procurement networks that supply Russia with deadly UAVs for use in its illegal war in Ukraine.Nelson added.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in January that Iran may be contributing to war crimes in Ukraine by supplying drones to Russia.
Iran has acknowledged sending drones to Russia, but has said they were sent before Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Moscow has denied that its forces used Iranian drones in Ukraine.
In another sanctions action, the Treasury blacklisted 39 companies and entities from Iran, Hong Kong, China, Dubai and other countries for helping Iran sell petrochemicals internationally, thus violating sanctions imposed on Tehran.
The US sanctions are intended to block listed companies’ access to international markets and financial services, freezing their assets under US jurisdiction and prohibiting any US entity, including international banks with US branches, from doing business with them. .
(With information from Reuters and AFP)
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