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WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), designated four entities and three individuals in Iran and Turkey for their involvement in the procurement of equipment, including European-origin engines of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in support of Iran’s UAV and weapons programs. This procurement network operates on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), which oversees several firms involved in UAV and ballistic missile development.
“Iran’s well-documented proliferation of UAVs and conventional weapons to its proxies continues to undermine both regional security and global stability,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue to expose foreign procurement networks in any jurisdiction that supports Iran’s military industrial complex.”
Today’s action, which follows OFAC’s March 9, 2023 designation of a China-based network in connection with Iran’s UAV procurement efforts, as well as several previous OFAC actions targeting Iran’s UAV manufacturers and their executives since September 2022, is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382. MODAFL was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on October 25, 2007, for having engaged, or attempted to engage, in activities or transactions that have materially contributed to, or pose a risk of materially contributing to, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery. E.O. 13382 targets weapons of mass destruction proliferators and their supporters.
MODAFL’S DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE RESEARCH CENTER, AMANALLAH PAIDAR, AND FARAZAN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING, INC.
The Iran-based Defense Technology and Science Research Center (DTSRC) is majority-owned by, and subordinate to, MODAFL. Previously sanctioned by the European Union (EU), the DTSRC falls within MODAFL’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) and conducts defense-related procurement and research and development. DIO was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on March 30, 2007, for engaging in activities that have materially contributed to the development of Iran’s nuclear and missile programs. The DTSRC is designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, or for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, MODAFL.
Iran-based Amanallah Paidar (Paidar) has served as a commercial manager and procurement agent for the DTSRC. Paidar has procured items with UAV applications, including inertial measurement units and attitude and heading reference systems, for the DTSRC. Paidar also established and utilized Farazan Industrial Engineering, Inc. (Farazan) to acquire defense equipment for the DTSRC, and in one case attempted to procure tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of European-origin turbine engines applicable for UAVs and Iranian surface-to-air missiles. Paidar and Farazan are designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the DTSRC.
MURAT BUKEY AND OZONE HAVACILIK VE SAVUNMA SANAYI TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI
Murat Bukey (Bukey) is a procurement agent who has supported Paidar and his DTSRC-related procurement. Bukey used his now-dormant company Ozon Spor Ve Hobi Urunleri (Ozon Spor) to facilitate the procurement of a variety of goods with defense applications, including chemical and biological detection devices, for Paidar. Bukey also attempted to provide European-origin engines with UAV and surface-to-air missile applications to Paidar and Farazan and, separately, sold more than 100 European-origin UAV engines and related accessories worth more than $1 million to companies that likely transshipped the items to Iran. In 2018, Bukey directed his associate to launch Ozone Havacilik Ve Savunma Sanayi Ticaret Anonim Sirketi (Ozone Aviation) to facilitate Bukey’s business with Iran. Bukey is a shareholder of Ozone Aviation and runs the company using the same online infrastructure he used to operate Ozon Spor.
Bukey is designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Paidar.
Ozone Aviation is designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by, or for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Bukey.
ASGHAR MAHMOUDI AND SELIN TECHNIC CO
Iran-based Asghar Mahmoudi (Mahmoudi) has facilitated the supply of items, including marine electronics, to Paidar and the DTSRC. Mahmoudi has also paid commissions to Paidar in connection with separate defense contracts that Paidar facilitated for Mahmoudi. Separately, Mahmoudi has provided various equipment to MODAFL UAV developers Qods Aviation Industries (QAI) and Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA). Mahmoudi has owned and operated Selin Technic Co (Selin Technic) as a front company to facilitate his trade business with Paidar and other U.S.-designated Iranian military entities. Mahmoudi has used Selin Technic to procure thermal imaging cameras, computer systems, and other equipment and services in support of Paidar.
QAI was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on December 12, 2013, for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, MODAFL, and for being owned or controlled by the IRGC. HESA was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on September 17, 2008, for being owned or controlled by MODAFL, and for having provided support to the IRGC.
Mahmoudi and Selin Technic are designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological, or other support for, or goods or services in support of, Paidar.
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons are prohibited.
In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals or entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals or entities designated today pursuant to E.O. 13382 could be subject to U.S. sanctions.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior.