Shipment courier

US sanctions Iranian company for shipping drones to Russia

The United States on Thursday sanctioned an Iranian company it said was involved in shipping Iranian drones to Russia for use in Ukraine.

In a Thursday press release, the Treasury Department accused Tehran-based Safiran Airport Services of coordinating Russian military flights between Iran and Russia, “including those associated with carrying Iranian flights “. [drones]personnel and related equipment from Iran to Russia.”

The department’s Foreign Assets Control Office also named three companies and one individual it said were involved in the research, development, production and procurement of Iranian drones for the elite Security Guard Corps. Islamic Revolution (IRGC) and its Aerospace Force and Navy.

“Russia is making increasingly desperate choices to continue its unprovoked war on Ukraine, especially in the face of our unprecedented sanctions and export controls,” said Brian Nelson, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and financial intelligence, in a press release.

In July, the White House released intelligence indicating that Iran was preparing to send hundreds of armed drones to Russia for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine. Late last month, the US military confirmed the delivery of Iranian-made combat drones, many of which it said had previously malfunctioned.

“The United States is committed to strictly enforcing our sanctions against Russia and Iran,” Nelson said, warning that “non-Iranian and non-Russian entities should also exercise great caution to avoid supporting the development of Iranian drones or their transfer, or the sale of any military equipment to Russia for use against Ukraine.

Why is this important: The latest sanctions come as efforts to revive the historic nuclear deal between Iran and world powers have failed.

For weeks, the United States and Iran have exchanged comments on what the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, described as a final proposal to revive the agreement, known as the Plan Joint Global Action Plan (JCPOA). On August 1, the Biden administration called Iran’s latest proposal to revive the nuclear deal “unconstructive.”

“It is unfortunate that Iran’s response has set us back,” State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the United States is still studying Iran’s comments and would soon share their comments with the EU.

The Trump administration pulled out of the deal in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions that have strangled Iran’s economy. A restored JCPOA would ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.

A number of sticking points reportedly remain for Tehran, including its demand for economic guarantees and the closure of a year-long United Nations nuclear monitoring investigation into traces of uranium found at three of the unidentified sites. reported from Iran.

And after: A revived deal is not expected before the US midterm elections in early November. An Israeli official confirmed to Al-Monitor that the Biden administration has told Israeli officials that a pact will not be signed in the foreseeable future, as Zman Yisrael first reported.

Know more: In this week’s Takeaway newsletter, Elizabeth Hagedorn and Andrew Parasiliti examine the remaining obstacles to a deal and why neither side is ready to give up.