US blacklists Chinese firms supplying drone parts to Iran

AFP , Thursday 9 Mar 2023

The United States placed five Chinese companies on its sanctions blacklist Thursday for supplying components to Iran drone builders.

US Defense Department
The US Defense Department used components found at the scene to identify the drone used in a November 2022 attack on a tanker as an Iranian Shahed-136 as shown in this handout photo from the department. AFP


The US Treasury indirectly tied the Chinese companies to Russian attacks in Ukraine and Iranian attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf region, in both cases using Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles made by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Co (HESA).

The sanctioned companies include Chinese companies in Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Guilin and Hong Kong, which the Treasury said shipped light engines and other drone components to HESA, which is controlled by Iran's defense ministry, according to the Treasury.

The companies are "responsible for the sale and shipment of thousands of aerospace components, including components that can be used for UAV applications," to HESA, the Treasury said in a statement.

"Iran is directly implicated in the Ukrainian civilian casualties that result from Russia's use of Iranian UAVs in Ukraine," said Treasury Under Secretary Brian Nelson.

In a separate sanctions action, the Treasury placed 39 firms and entities in Iran, Hong Kong, China, Dubai and elsewhere on its blacklist for helping Iran sell petrochemicals internationally in violation of sanctions on Tehran.

US sanctions aiming at blocking those listed from accessing international markets and financial services by freezing their assets under US jurisdiction and forbidding any US entities, including international banks with US branches, from doing business with them.

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