Saturday, April 20, 2024

US lawmakers call on Biden to target Iran’s drone program

A bipartisan group of 60 US lawmakers have urged the administration of President Joe Biden to target Iran's drone program, claiming it has “far-reaching implications” for American interests in the region and beyond.

The legislators urged Washington to target the Iranian drone program in a letter addressed to President Joe Biden, State Secretary Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

They cited reports that claimed Iranian drones allegedly used by Russia in Ukraine contained parts made by US-based companies.

“We are deeply concerned by reports that Iranian-made drones recovered in Ukraine contain parts that were manufactured in the United States. We ask that you develop a coordinated, whole-of-government approach to interrupt Iran’s supply chains, shut down shell companies used by adversaries to evade sanctions, and pressure allies to crack down on unscrupulous distributors in Europe and Asia,” they wrote.

“Iran’s fleet of drones have far-reaching implications beyond the war against Ukraine,” they added.

The letter came amid repeated, months-long allegations that Iran was supplying Russia with drones to be used in the war in Ukraine. Both Tehran and Moscow have consistently denied the accusations, with Iranian officials stressing that Kiev has so far failed to provide any evidence for its claim.

Despite the allegations, however, Iran has not shied away from showing off its defensive drone capabilities.

Iran is believed to be among the world’s top five powers in the unmanned aerial vehicles industry.

Iranian officials have repeatedly warned that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, saying the Islamic Republic’s defense capabilities will be never subject to negotiations.

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