Biden targets Iran’s drone program with sanctions

The Biden administration on Friday sanctioned a senior Iranian military official for his role in the July attack on an Israeli-run commercial transport ship in the Gulf of Oman, as well as blacklisting a network of people and businesses behind it. of Iran’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). ) Program.

Iran’s drone program is a highly criticized aspect of the Islamic Republic’s military support and operations in the Middle East against US forces and partners in the region.

This includes actions in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; actions against Saudi Arabia and Israeli entities; and its reported use in Ethiopia’s brutal year-long civil war.

“The proliferation of UAVs in Iran throughout the region threatens international peace and stability,” said the undersecretary of the Treasury. Wally adeyemoWally AdeyemoOn The Money – Big Business Sides Biden’s Side in Texas Hillicon Valley Vaccine Showdown – Presented by LookingGlass – Hackers are making big money Treasury: 0 million paid by victims of ransomware attacks in the first half from 2021 MORE it said in a statement.

“Iran and its proxied militants have used unmanned aerial vehicles to attack US forces, our partners and international shipping. The Treasury will continue to hold Iran accountable for its irresponsible and violent acts. “

The sanctions come days after US intelligence officials reportedly pinned Iran as behind a drone attack on a military outpost in southern Syria, where US forces reside, though no injuries were reported.

The target individuals include Saeed Aghajani, brigadier general of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who oversees the military unit’s drone command and leads the planning, equipment and training of drone operations, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Aghajani is described as orchestrating a July 29 attack on the commercial transport ship Mercer Street off the coast of Oman, killing two Romanian crew members. The incident was condemned by the United States, the United Kingdom, Romania and Israel. The Israeli management office was located in London.

The Treasury Department further said that Aghajani was behind planning a 2019 attack on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia, which temporarily disrupted global oil markets and risked triggering a larger regional confrontation.

Other individuals sanctioned include IRGC Brigadier General Abdollah Mehrabi, as head of the IRGC Aerospace Force Self-Sufficiency and Investigation Jihad Organization (ASF). The company Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar, co-owned by Mehrabi, as well as its CEO, Yousef Aboutalebi, are also sanctioned.

The Treasury sanctioned the Kimia Part Sivan Company (KIPAS), an Iran-based company that the United States says has worked with Iran’s IRGC-QF to enhance the force’s unmanned aerial vehicle program, and put into blacklisted individual Mohammad Ebrahim Zargar Tehrani, for helping KIPAS obtain unmanned aerial vehicle components. from companies based outside of Iran.

The sanctions block any property or interest that blacklisted individuals or companies have in the US, prohibit US transactions with sanctioned ones, and warn international financial institutions that they risk being blocked from the US market if they relate to sanctioned entities.

Iran is likely to disagree with the sanctions amid its deliberations to return to international talks to revitalize the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international nuclear agreement that the former President TrumpDonald Trump Former lawmakers sign brief to counter Trump’s claims of executive privilege in January 6 probe Fox poll shows Youngkin leads McAuliffe by 8 points among potential voters Iowa legislature passes redistribution proposal of districts MORE retired in 2018.

Iran has said it is likely to return to the talks before the end of November. The sixth round of talks ended in April.

The JCPOA’s intention is to put strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities and subject it to intensive supervision, but critics of the deal say it does little to curb Iran’s other problematic behavior, such as its support for combat forces across the country. Middle East.

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