U.S. Sanctions Procurement Networks for Iran’s UAV Program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Tuesday seven entities and individuals from Iran and Turkey for their role in procuring unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipment, in support of Iran’s drone and weapons programs.

Iran DroneThe Mohajer-6, an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle. (Photo: Hadi Hirbodvash/Fars Media Corporation, Wikimedia, License)The individuals and entities named, the Treasury said, facilitated Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), which oversees several of the country’s development programs pertaining to UAVs and ballistic missiles.

Highlighted in the network is the Iran-based Defense Technology and Science Research Center (DTSRC), which is majority-owned by, and subordinate to, MODAFL. The research centre has been similarly sanctioned by the EU.

Amongst the individuals named by the Treasury is Amanallah Paidar, a commercial manager and procurement agent for the DTSRC, who attempted, in the past, to acquire turbine engines of European origin that could be converted for use in UAVs and surface-to-air missiles.

Also sanctioned was Murat Bukey, whom the Treasury said used his now-dormant company Ozon Spor Ve Hobi Urunleri to procure “a variety of goods with defense applications, including chemical and biological detection devices, for Paidar.”

Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, lambasted the Iranian government’s proliferation of UAVs, stating that its supply of drones and other weapons “to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability.”

Specifically, he addressed the casualties the country’s drone warfare program has inflicted against Ukrainian citizens in the ongoing war in Ukraine, instigated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Iran is directly implicated in the Ukrainian civilian casualties that result from Russia’s use of Iranian UAVs in Ukraine,” said Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, earlier this month. “The United States will continue to target global Iranian procurement networks that supply Russia with deadly UAVs for use in its illegal war in Ukraine.”