Imposing Sanctions on Entities and Individuals in Response to Iran’s Transfer of Military UAVs to Russia

November 15, 2022

Weapon Program: 

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Antony J. Blinken

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Secretary of State

Today we are imposing sanctions in response to Iran’s support of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, including Tehran’s transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia, which are being used by Moscow to strike civilian infrastructure and cities.

The Departments of State and the Treasury are designating a total of three Iranian entities, including those manufacturing and delivering the UAVs supplied by Iran to Russia.  The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force, which likely helped facilitate Iran’s supply of military UAVs to Russia, is being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 Section 1(a)(ii)(F).  Qods Aviation Industries, which produces the Mohajer-6, is also being designated pursuant to E.O. 14024 Section 1(a)(ii)(F).  Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center, which produces the Shahed-series UAV variants, including the Shahed-136 one-way attack UAV that Russian forces used in recent attacks in Kyiv, Odesa, and the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, is being designated pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii) of E.O. 13382.  The European Union and the United Kingdom sanctioned Shahed Aviation Industries last month.

In addition, Russian individuals and entities are being targeted.  The Department of State is designating Private Military Company (PMC) Wagner pursuant to E.O. 14024 Section (1)(a)(1)(i) for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy.  PMC Wagner was previously designated by Treasury in 2017 pursuant to E.O. 13660 for recruiting and sending soldiers to fight alongside separatists in eastern Ukraine.  The European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada have also sanctioned PMC Wagner.  Earlier this year, Wagner sought to purchase Iranian UAVs, almost certainly to support its operations in Ukraine – just one example of Wagner being used as a low cost, low-risk instrument of the Kremlin to advance its goals.  Treasury also designated two individuals, Abbas Djuma and Tigran Khristoforovich Srabionov, pursuant to E.O. 14024 for being involved in Wagner’s acquisition of Iranian UAVs to support combat operations in Ukraine.

Finally, today’s action also includes the designation of third-party entities involved in the transfer of Iranian UAVs to Russia for use in Ukraine, further demonstrating that the United States is willing to target international actors involved in supporting Russia’s war machine.  The Department of the Treasury is designating two entities, UAE-based Success Aviation Services FZC (Success Aviation) and i Jet Global DMCC (i Jet), pursuant to E.O. 14024.  Both Success Aviation and i Jet collaborated with U.S.-sanctioned Iranian firm Safiran Airport Services even after it was designated to coordinate flights between Iran and Russia, including flights for the Russian Airforce as well as those associated with transporting Iranian UAVs, personnel, and related equipment from Iran to Russia.  The actions against the UAE-based targets are being taken in cooperation with the UAE government.

The Iranian government’s military support to Russia fuels the conflict in Ukraine, and its transfer of these UAVs is in clear violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231.  The United States will continue to work to disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors engaged in this activity.