on Jan 6th 2023, the United States has announced that it will be imposing sanctions on Iranian industries that produce drones and ballistic missiles. The move comes as a response to allegations that these technologies have been used to facilitate Russia’s actions in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the sanctions will target seven individuals in leadership positions at Qods Aviation Industries, an Iranian drone manufacturer, as well as Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO), which is responsible for managing the country’s ballistic missile program. Blinken accused Iran of becoming Russia’s top military supporter and vowed to use every tool at the US’s disposal to “disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors engaged in this activity.”
Relations between the US and Iran have been strained due to the enhancement of military ties between the two countries, with the US claiming that Iranian drones have caused destruction in Ukraine. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute US currently dominates the global weapons market, with 40 US-based companies conducting nearly $300bn in arms sales in 2021. The US has sometimes faced criticism for its weapons programs, which critics allege are used to support US allies, even when they have poor human rights records.