The United States has imposed sanctions on entities in Iran, Hong Kong, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of being part of a network involved in

procuring parts for Iran's drone program. The U.S. Treasury Department, through its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), claims that this network has facilitated shipments and financial transactions to support a critical component used in Iran's Shahed drones, which have been supplied to Russia for use against Ukraine.

The critical component in question is a servomotor, essential for Iran's Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). According to the OFAC, the sanctions target the procurement of servomotors by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) aerospace organization. It further noted that one of the servomotors procured by the network was discovered in the wreckage of a Russian-operated Shahed-136 drone recently downed in Ukraine.

Undersecretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson stated, "Iranian-made UAVs continue to be a key tool for Russia in its attacks in Ukraine, including those that terrorize Ukrainian citizens and attack its critical infrastructure."

Among the entities designated for sanctions are the Iran-based Pishgam Electronic Safeh Company (PESC) and Hongkong Himark Electron Model Limited, with the remaining three located in Turkey and the U.A.E., according to the OFAC.

PESC, based in Iran, has procured thousands of servomotors with one-way attack UAV applications for the IRGC, the OFAC reported. The company's CEO, Hamid Reza Janghorbani, was also subject to sanctions. Hongkong Himark official Fan Yang, based in China, was designated for sanctions due to his role in representing Hongkong Himark in fulfilling servomotor orders for PESC, exceeding $1 million. Fan allegedly attempted to conceal the Iranian company's involvement in the shipments by falsifying invoices.

Hongkong Himark received sanctions for providing or attempting to provide financial, technological, or other support to PESC. The Turkish and U.A.E.-based firms were sanctioned for their roles in facilitating financial transactions, shipping, and material and technical support for PESC's servomotor procurement from Hongkong Himark.

These sanctions follow previous designations made by the OFAC in November 2022, targeting Iran's Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center. This Iranian entity, affiliated with the IRGC's aerospace organization, is responsible for designing and manufacturing the Shahed-136 drone, according to the Treasury Department.

The sanctions will freeze any assets held by the individuals or entities within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit individuals in the United States from conducting business with the designated entities and individuals. Photo by Fars Media Corporation, Wikimedia commons.