New US Sanctions Target Iran's Drone Programme

© AP Photo / Patrick SemanskyThis June 6, 2019, file photo shows the U.S. Treasury Department building at dusk in Washington. The U.S. Treasury has removed Vietnam and Switzerland from the list of nations labeled as currency manipulators, reversing a decision made by the Trump administration in December
This June 6, 2019, file photo shows the U.S. Treasury Department building at dusk in Washington.  The U.S. Treasury has removed Vietnam and Switzerland from the list of nations labeled as currency manipulators, reversing a decision made by the Trump administration in December - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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WASHINGTON, October 29 (Sputnik) - The United States has rolled out new sanctions targeting Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicle program and its chief, the Treasury announced on Friday.
"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated members of a network of companies and individuals that have provided critical support to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programs of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its expeditionary unit, the IRGC Qods Force (IRGC-QF)," the Treasury said in a press release. "OFAC is also designating Saeed Aghajani, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF) UAV Command."
According to the Treasury, these lethal UAVs are used by groups like Hizbollah, HAMAS, Kata’ib Hizbollah, and the Houthis. Moreover, the release said, Iran's UAVs have been used in conflict-torn Ethiopia, as well as in attacks on international shipping and on US forces.
The Treasury Department claimed that under Aghajani’s leadership, the IRGC ASF UAV Command carried out the deadly attack on the commercial shipping vessel Mercer Street in July.
"Aghajani also was behind a UAV attack against a Saudi Arabian oil refinery in 2019," the release said. "Iranian forces have been responsible for several high-profile attacks against international shipping over the last few years, including two prior incidents this year alone. In 2019, Iranian strikes targeting six tankers were widely condemned, including an operation orchestrated by the IRGC in May 2019 that resulted in damage to Saudi, Emirati and Norwegian vessels."
Iran has vehemently denied these allegations.
The US has also added four Iranian individuals and two entities to sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic.
Yousef Aboutalebi, Saeed Aghajani, Abdollah Mehrabi and Mohammad Ebrahim Zargar Tehrani were the individuals added to the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons (SDN) List of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the press release said.
The entities added to OFAC's SDN List were Kimia Part Sivan Company LLC and Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar Company.
Most of those designated are linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the release.
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