OFAC Sanctions Target Entities Connected to Iran’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Development

September 20, 2023

The United States has taken action against Iran’s UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) procurement network. The latest OFAC sanctions have targeted four individuals and seven entities related to Iran’s UAV and military aircraft development. These entities are based in Russia, China, Iran and Tukriye.

According to the US Department of Treasury Press Release, the newly sanctioned network helped in facilitating financial transactions and shipments for HESA which is an Aircraft Manufacturing Company in Iran. Following sanctions, OFAC will also update HESA’s entry to the list of SDNs (Specially Designated Nationals and People).

Briefly, the latest sanctions target HESA’s new alias in other countries, pursuing Executive Order 13382 which relates to action against supporters of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

How HESA Has Been Evading Sanctions

US Treasury has also revealed how HESA must have been circumventing the sanctions. As of 2022, HESA evaded the sanctions by contracting with suppliers such as Shahin. Co. Given the fact that HESA has been successfully able to circumvent sanctions, OFAC has also included Shahin.Co and updated the HESA status.

Some of the Suppliers of HESA in Sanctioned Countries

Russia-based suppliers of HESA include Delta-Aero Technical Service Center LLC (Delta-Aero), Joint Stock Company Scientific Production Enterprise Aerosila (JSC SPE Aerosila and  Joint Stock Company Star (JSC Star).

In Turkiye, these were the money exchangers who facilitated HESA. The sanctioned names include Mehmet Tokdemir (Tokdemir) and Alaaddin Aykut (Aykut) who helped with dollar and euro-based transactions in securing contracts from China-based companies.

Suppliers based in the People’s Republic of China that have been named in OFAC sanctions include, Shenzhen Jiasibo Technology Co., Ltd. (Shenzhen Jiasibo). Furthermore, PRC citizens Su Chunpeng (Su) and Dong Wenbo (Dong) have also been sanctioned and were designated pursuant to E.O 133822