US blacklists more Iranian companies, cites drone sales to Russia
More than 22 countries have inquired about the possibility to purchase Iran's attack drones
By News Desk - January 31 2023

(Photo Credit: Iranian Army via AP)

On 31 January, the US added seven Iranian companies to its trade blacklist for manufacturing drones that Russia has deployed to Ukraine, according to a statement by the US Department of Commerce.

The companies were included on a US export control list for those allegedly involved in acts harmful to the country’s national security and interests abroad.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Research and Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization, the Qods Aviation Industry, and the Shahed Aviation Industries are among the Iranian organizations that have been added to the blacklist.

Except for licenses for the shipment of food and medicine, all suppliers to the entities must have licenses to convey commodities and technology. Every license will be examined individually.

Last October, Iran’s head adviser for military affairs, Major General Rahim Safavi, confirmed that 22 nations had sent requests to purchase Iranian attack drones.

Safavi revealed that these clients include Armenia, Algeria, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Venezuela, among other countries.

He also stated that Iran previously imported 80 percent of its military needs from abroad before establishing the Islamic Republic and is now producing 80 percent of its defense requirements.

Meanwhile, Ukraine claimed that at least three-fourths of the internal components of Iranian drones allegedly used on the battlefield by Russia are manufactured by companies in the US, Europe, Japan, and other western nations.

The Wall Street Journal reported on November 2022 that the military intelligence of Ukraine recognized the components and that its conclusions were corroborated by the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO) in Kiev.

According to the report, most of these parts are not under export controls and can be bought over the internet.

The WSJ cites officials in the weapons-making industry as saying that, following Kiev’s allegations, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security launched an investigation into the Western-origin parts.

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