• Mon. Feb 13th, 2023

US Treasury Targets Iran’s UAV Program with Latest Sanctions


Feb 4, 2023
Image rendering: DALL-E2

Washington – The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on eight senior executives of Paravar Pars Company (Paravar Pars), an Iran-based firm that was previously blacklisted for producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF) and IRGC Navy. OFAC has also designated two Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) vessels as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest.

Paravar Pars is renowned for its contribution in the development and production of the Shahed-171 UAV, which has the capability of targeting critical infrastructure. The Shahed-171 is a reverse-engineered American RQ-170 UAV, with design modifications to carry guided missiles, according to reports.

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson commented on the OFAC action, saying, “Iranian entities continue to produce UAVs for Iran’s IRGC and military. The United States will continue to aggressively target all elements of Iran’s UAV program.”

The sanctions have been imposed under the authority of Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters.” The US government has been taking action against individuals and entities involved in the production and transfer of Iranian UAVs, including those used by Russia to attack critical infrastructure in Ukraine.

The executives who have been sanctioned include Hossein Shamsabadi, Managing Director and CEO of Paravar Pars and a board member, Ali Reza Tangsiri, Commander of the IRGC Navy and Chairman of the Board, and Abualfazl Nazeri, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The two IRIN vessels, IRIS MAKRAN and IRIS DENA, have been designated as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest under Executive Order 13599, “Blocking Property of the Government of Iran and Iranian Financial Institutions.” The IRIS MAKRAN is an oil tanker that has been repurposed for naval operations and has UAV launch capabilities, and is currently on an international voyage, accompanied by the naval frigate IRIS DENA.

As a result of the OFAC sanctions, all assets and interests in the property of the designated individuals and entities within the US or under control of US persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. Transactions involving these individuals or entities by US persons or within the US are prohibited, and individuals engaging in transactions with these entities may face sanctions. Foreign financial institutions that facilitate transactions or provide significant financial services for them may also be subject to US sanctions.

The OFAC sanctions have the power to designate and block assets of individuals and entities that pose a threat to national security and foreign policy. The sanctions on the executives of Paravar Pars and the IRIN vessels demonstrate the US government’s commitment to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the support of their proliferators.