New sanctions on Iran for its arms sales to Russia
WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan24) The US, on Tuesday, announced new sanctions on Iran for its support of Russia in its war against Ukraine. The new sanctions follow one day after the European Union (EU) announced a slew of sanctions for the Iranian regime’s human rights violations, as it tries to suppress the ongoing protests triggered by the Sept. 16 death of the young Kurdish woman, Jinna (Mahsa) Amini, while under arrest by Tehran’s so-called morality police for not properly wearing her headscarf.
Those protests have now entered their third month and represent the greatest challenge to Iran’s clerical rulers since the 1979 revolution.
The US sanctions announced on Tuesday for Iran’s arms sales to Russia target three Iranian entities, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained in a written statement, in which he denounced “Tehran’s transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia, which are being used by Moscow to strike civilian infrastructure and cites.”
Russian Barbarities in Ukraine that are Supported by Iranian Weapons
Indeed, on the same day that the US announced the new sanctions for Iranian arms sales to Russia, Moscow launched a massive assault on Ukraine.
The attack was, apparently, in retaliation for two recent developments. They include Ukraine’s success in liberating the southern port city of Kherson, the only provincial capital that Russian forces managed to seize after their Feb. 24 assault began.
In addition, earlier on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the G-20 summit by video conference and laid out for the world leaders a ten-point plan for peace.
Russia’s assault on Ukraine was the main issue on the summit’s agenda and the conference, in its majority, was sympathetic to Ukraine. Thus, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, rather than President Vladimir Putin, represented Moscow.
Lavrov was present for Zelensky’s remarks, but departed the conference before Russia’s massive barrage on Ukraine began, leaving Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as head of Russia’s delegation.
“The moment when the world came together at the G20 to urge de-escalation, Russia has chosen to escalate in Ukraine—while we’re meeting,” US President Joe Biden stated, as he denounced the “totally unconscionable” Russian attacks.
“Russia fired roughly 90 missiles at targets across Ukraine,” The New York Times reported, “one of the broadest aerial attacks since the invasion began.”
Russia is trying to make life as miserable as it can for Ukrainians. The officer now in charge of Moscow’s military campaign—Gen. Sergey Surovikin—previously commanded Russian forces in Syria. Surovikin has brought the same brutality to Ukraine that his forces used in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
With winter approaching, the target of Russia’s massive strike on Tuesday was Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, as Moscow aimed to leave the population in the cold and dark.
“About 10 million Ukrainians were without power after the attacks,” the Times reported, although by midnight, power had been restored to some 80% of those people (overnight temperatures in Ukraine fell below 40 degrees Fahrenheit—four degrees Celsius.)
Sanctions on Iranian Entities Supplying Drones to Russia
The US sanctions announced on Tuesday focused on Iran’s provision of drones to Russia. The US announcement also revealed that the Wagner Group, a private military company, run by a figure very close to Putin, is involved in transferring those weapons to Russian forces in Ukraine.
“The Departments of State and the Treasury are designating [for sanctions] a total of three Iranian entities, including those manufacturing and delivering the UAVs supplied by Iran to Russia,” Blinken stated.
They include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Aerospace Force, “which likely helped facilitate Iran’s supply of military UAVs to Russia,” he continued.
In addition, two Iranian companies, Qods Aviation Industries, which manufactures a UAV, the Mohajer-6, was also sanctioned, as was Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center.
Shahed Aviation “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,” Blinken stated.
Russian entities and individuals involved in transferring Iranian drones to Moscow were also sanctioned. They include the Wagner Group which, earlier this year, sought to buy Iranian UAVs “almost certainly to support its operations in Ukraine,” Blinken said, suggesting this was “just one example of Wagner being used as a low cost, low-risk instrument of the Kremlin to advance its goals.”
Two Russian citizens were also sanctioned for facilitating Wagner’s acquisition of Iranian drones for use in Ukraine: Abbas Djuma and Tigran Srabionov.
UAE Companies Also Sanctioned
Finally, two companies in Dubai were also designated for their role in shipping Iranian UAVs to the Russian military. One company was Success Aviation Services FZC and the other was i Jet Global DMCC. Notably, Success Aviation also maintains an office in Damascus.
The US measures against the Dubai-based companies “are being taken in cooperation with the UAE government,” Blinken explained.