U.S. Targets Iran's Missile, Drone Programs In Fresh Sanctions
The Biden Administration on Wednesday targeted Iran’s missile and drone programs in fresh sanctions, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
The latest sanctions target 11 individuals, 8 entities, and one vessel based in Iran, Hong Kong, China, and Venezuela for, as the Treasury Department put it, "enabling Iran’s destabilizing ballistic missile and unmanned aerial vehicle programs.”
“The persons designated today have materially supported Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), or their subordinates in the production and proliferation of missiles and UAVs,” reads the Treasury Department statement.
In a separate move, the State Department imposed sanctions on two Iranian officials “for engaging in activities that have materially contributed to Iran’s missile program,” as well as on “two Iran-based entities and four Russia-based entities.” Russia has been using Iranian drones in its war in Ukraine.
"Iran’s development, procurement, and proliferation of missiles and missile-related technology remains one of the greatest challenges to international peace and security," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement.
He went on to add: "We see the horrific impact of Iran’s provision of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to designated terrorist organizations and militant proxies that directly threaten the security of Israel and our Gulf partners. We see the destructive result of Iran’s transfer of lethal UAVs to Russia to target critical civilian infrastructure and kill civilians in Ukraine. We remain focused on addressing Iran’s destabilizing proliferation activities, in particular its missile and UAV programs and the threats they pose to the world."
The new sanctions came on what is known as “Transition Day,” when the remaining UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program from the 2015 nuclear deal expired on Wednesday.
In light of it, the U.S. and 46 other countries signed a joint statement on Wednesday committing to “take all necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of ballistic missile-related items, materials, equipment, goods, and technology, to protect peace and stability in the region and beyond.”