The US Treasury detailed the new measures on Tuesday, imposing penalties on four businesses and three people in both Iran and Turkey for their supposed “involvement in the procurement of equipment” – including “European-origin engines” – to be used for the Islamic Republic’s weapons programs.
“Iran’s well-documented proliferation of [drones] and conventional weapons to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement, vowing to “continue to expose foreign procurement networks in any jurisdiction that supports Iran’s military-industrial complex.”
The targeted entities include the Iran-based Defense Technology and Science Research Center, which the Treasury claimed operates “on behalf” of Tehran’s military, as well as a number of related firms. Turkish citizen Murat Bukey was also included on the sanctions blacklist, accused of facilitating the transfer of a “variety of goods with defense applications” to Iran, including European-made engines that can be used in both drones and surface-to-air missiles.
While the United States has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying drones to Russian troops deployed to Ukraine, Tehran insists it sent only a “small number” of UAVs before fighting erupted last year and says it has not provided more since.
In a televised address on Tuesday to mark the Iranian New Year, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declared that the US is seeking to “to change the very nature of the Islamic Republic” through sanctions and other forms of interference, slamming Washington for “global arrogance and imperialism.”