On September 19, the U.S. government announced additional financial sanctions against the global supply chain responsible for Iranian-made uncrewed air vehicles (UAVs) and regional transports. These sanctions target individuals and entities located in China, Russia, and Turkey, and aim to impede Iran’s UAV production.
The sanctions effectively prohibit direct transactions with seven individuals and four entities identified by the U.S. Treasury Department. Furthermore, they expose anyone engaged with a financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or service with these sanctioned individuals or entities.
The primary objective of these sanctions is to hinder the efforts of the Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) in manufacturing UAVs, including the Shahed 136 series, which have been deployed in the Middle East and even transferred to Russia for use against Ukraine.
Brian Nelson, the undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the importance of these sanctions: “Iran’s continued, deliberate proliferation of its UAVs enables Russia, its proxies in the Middle East, and other destabilizing actors to undermine global stability.”
This round of sanctions includes updates to a 15-year-old block on HESA, acknowledging that it has also been operating under the name Shahin Co. since 2022. Additionally, the sanctions explicitly target three key HESA employees: Managing Director Mehdi Gogerdchian, Chairman of the Board Hamidreza Noori, and UAV Manufacturing Director Husayn A’ini, as outlined by the Treasury Department.
Shenzen Jiasibo Technology Co., a Chinese company, has also been sanctioned for its role in supplying radar altimeters, GPS, VHF antennas, and sensors to HESA’s UAV program. The firm’s Managing Director, Su Chunpeng, faces personal sanctions as well.
Previously, the Treasury Department had sanctioned Guilin Alpha Rubber and Plastics Technology, a China-based company, for selling aircraft brake disks to HESA. This latest update extends sanctions to encompass dealings with Dong Wenbo, identified as the sales representative.
In Turkey, the U.S. government has taken action against two money exchangers, Mehmet Tokdemir and Alaaddin Aykut, for facilitating financial transactions valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars between HESA and Chinese aircraft engine suppliers.
These comprehensive sanctions also penalize three Russian companies involved in collaboration with HESA, specifically in the construction and maintenance of An-140 aircraft produced in Iran: Delta-Aero Technical Service Center, Aerosila, and Star.