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US sanctions Iran drone suppliers for arming Russia in Ukraine

The Treasury Department announced designations on six executives and board members with Qods Aviation Industries.
Iranian missile Sevom-Khordad on display during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, in the capital Tehran on Sept. 22, 2022.

WASHINGTON — The United States issued new sanctions Friday over the supply of drones used in Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine.

The Treasury Department announced designations on six executives and board members at Qods Aviation Industries (QAI), a previously sanctioned Iranian defense manufacturer also known as Light Airplanes Design and Manufacturing Industries. QAI has reportedly worked with Iran’s Defense Ministry and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on aviation and air defense-related projects, including the manufacture of Mohajer-6 drones.

The targets unveiled Friday include Seyed Hojatollah Ghoreishi, the chair of QAI’s board of directors who the Treasury describes as responsible for negotiating Iran’s armed drone agreement with Russia. ​​It named the defense firm’s managing director, Ghassem Damavandian, as having trained Russian personnel on the use of QAI-manufactured drones.

The department also designated Nader Khoon Siavash for his involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile program as director of Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization. According to the Treasury, Iran’s Central Bank has siphoned millions in discounted foreign currency to the aerospace organization each year.

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