US sanctions target Iranian drone manufacturer
The US has imposed new sanctions against Iran, this time targeting an Iranian manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles under the false pretext that Tehran has provided Russia with the UAVs to be used by Moscow against Ukraine.
The United States Treasury Department slapped the sanctions on Friday against six executives and board members of Iran's Quds Aviation Industries (QAI).
It described the targeted body as a key Iranian defense industry manufacturer responsible for designing and producing drones.
The Islamic Republic has, on repeated occasions, roundly rejected Washington's allegations.
Last month, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said Ukrainian officials had failed to provide any evidence for their claim that Russia was using Iranian drones in its February-present war on Ukraine.
Speaking following a technical meeting between Ukrainian and Iranian specialists, he said the Ukrainian side had stopped short of "presenting any evidence" during the meeting "of Russia’s use of Iranian drones in the war with this country."
A month earlier, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had also reacted to the US and other Western countries' allegations, noting that Iran had provided Russia with a limited number of drones, but the delivery had taken place months before the war in Ukraine.
On another occasion in October, the top diplomat had likewise responded to the Western claims by asserting, "We have not sold and will not sell any weapons and drones to be used in the war against Ukraine."