US reveals possible steps to counter Iran’s drone production


FILE PHOTO: An Iranian-made drone displayed in Tehran, 2013. © Sepah News / AFP

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Washington says it plans to use export controls and work with companies to prevent Western technology from reaching Tehran

The White House is working to prevent Iran from using Western parts to make military drones, Adrienne Watson, the spokeswoman for the US National Security Council, has said. Her statement came after Washington accused Tehran of delivering combat UAVs to Russia amid its conflict with Ukraine.

“We are looking at ways to target Iranian UAV production through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production,” Watson said in a statement to the New York Times on Wednesday.

Watson added that the White House was “assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones.”

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Ukraine has accused Russia of using Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones in strikes on Kiev and other cities. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the allegations at the time, saying Moscow was only using Russian hardware in the military operation in Ukraine.

CNN reported last week that Washington set up a taskforce to investigate the allegations that Western components were found in drones deployed by Russia in Ukraine. The US is also working on additional export restrictions for Iran, according to Bloomberg.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said this month that Kiev’s accusations of helping Russia with weapons were “unfounded.” He maintains that the Islamic Republic does not supply military hardware to either side of the conflict.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, stated in early November that Tehran had shipped “a small number of drones” to Russia months before Moscow launched the military operation in late February.

In September and November, the US Treasury Department blacklisted several Iranian companies accused of involvement in the alleged sale of drones to Russia.

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