U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran targeting network procuring drone parts

The U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday announced a new round of sanctions against Iran, targeting a sanctions-evasion network working to procure parts for Iranian military drones. Photo courtesy of the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani/EPA-EFE

April 19 (UPI) — The U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday sanctioned one person and six entities in an alleged Iranian sanctions evasion network working to procure military components, including those used in drones.

Sanction targets include Mehdi Khoshghadam, managing director of Iran’s Pardazan System Namad Arman (PASNA). The Treasury Department said in a statement that Khoshghadam uses front companies in sanction evasion efforts.

“Using numerous front companies, Khoshghadam has sought a variety of electronic components from foreign suppliers primarily based in the People’s Republic of China,” Treasury’s sanction announcement said.

According to the Treasury Department, those companies include the Iran-based Amv AJ Nilgoun Bushehr Co. and PASNA International.

“The network sanctioned today has procured goods and technology for the Iranian government and its defense industry and UAV program,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will continue to enforce its sanctions against Iran’s military procurement efforts that contribute to regional insecurity and global instability.”

Iran’s proliferation of drones and other weapons “continues to destabilize the Middle East region and beyond,” the Treasury Department said in the statement announcing the sanctions.

Iranian drones have been used by Russia to attack Ukraine.

According to the Treasury Department, PASNA International is a Malaysia-based front company used to buy electronic goods like encoder boards, copiers, transmitters, remote controls, optical components and various crystals.

Companies supplying PASNA that were sanctioned Wednesday include the Hong-Kong based Arttronix International Limited, and Chinese-based companies Jotrin Electronics Limited, Vohom Technology Co., and Yinke Electronics Company Limited.

The new sanctions update includes a PASNA alias called Faraz Tejarat Ertebat Company. Treasury is also naming what it says are two fictional companies — Sino Trader Co. and Pouyan Electronic Co. — that help PASNA evade sanctions.

The latest sanctions are part of an ongoing Iranian sanctions effort.

On March 21, the U.S. sanctioned two Iranians, one Turk and three Iran-based companies for also procuring drone equipment used to make military drones, including engines from Europe.

Also in March, the Biden administration announced new sanctions against Iran’s petroleum and petrochemical industries.

In February, U.S. sanctions were imposed on eight senior executives of Iran’s drone manufacturer Paravar Pars Co. for testing and developing drones for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Source: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2023/04/19/Iran-sanctions-drones/5971681917998/

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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