Biden administration working to halt Iran from delivering drones to Russia

FILE – This undated photograph released by the Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate shows the wreckage of what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone downed near Kupiansk, Ukraine. Ukraine’s military claimed on Sept. 13, 2022, for the first time that it encountered an Iranian-supplied suicide drone used by Russia on the battlefield. Russia’s unleashing of successive waves of the Iranian-made Shahed drones over Ukraine has multiple aims — take out key targets, crush morale and ultimately drain the enemy’s war chest and weapons trying to defend against them as the conflict evolves into a longer war of attrition. (Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate via AP, File)

The Biden administration is reportedly working to curb Iran’s ability to deliver drones to Russian troops for use in Ukraine by expanding efforts to choke Tehran’s production of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

The New York Times reported on the expanded push Wednesday, citing unnamed intelligence, military and national security officials. The administration is focusing on depriving Iran of the parts it needs to produce the drones.

Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, told the newspaper officials are “looking at ways to target” Iranian drone production “through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production.”

“We are assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones,” Watson said.

The U.S. is also helping Ukrainian defenders target sites where drones are being launched and providing equipment to detect the drones early after launch, according to the Times.

Iranian drones are mostly assembled through parts produced in the U.S., Europe and Asia, according to a November report from a weapons research group, Conflict Armament Research.

U.S. companies with parts ending up in the explosive drones, including Dallas-based Texas Instruments, have condemned the use of their technology in the drones.

CNN reported this month the Biden administration was creating a task force to investigate how U.S. tech was ending up in the Iranian drones.

Iranian drones have been deployed for widespread use in Ukraine since the fall. Russian forces have used them to attack critical infrastructure and energy grids in the country.

The U.S. has sanctioned Iranian entities and two companies in the United Arab Emirates allegedly involved with manufacturing the drones.

Tags Adrienne Watson Biden Iran Iranian drones National Security Council Russia Tehran Ukraine war in ukraine White House

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