An image provided by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shows combat drones. (AFP)

US takes aim at Iran’s drone program

The Biden administration has levied sanctions against several Iranian companies and their executives whom the US has linked to Tehran’s effort to develop armed drones for attacks on Amerian forces and allies.

The administration’s action at he weekend marks the start of a campaign against Iran’s evolving unmanned aerial vehicle and precision-guided missile programs, which Western officials say represent a more immediate threat than Iran’s nuclear-enrichment and ballistic-missile programs.

“Iran’s proliferation of UAVs across the region threatens international peace and stability,” said Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the Treasury. “Treasury will continue to hold Iran accountable for its irresponsible and violent acts.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned the US Treasury’s action, calling it “a continuation of the Trump administration’s failed policy of maximum pressure”.

“A government that talks of returning to the nuclear deal but follows in the footsteps of former US. president Donald Trump sends the message that it is not trustworthy,” Mr Khatibzadeh said.

The sanctions target two Iranian companies the US said procure drone engines and other components for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a military unit designated by Washington as a terror group for its financial, logistical and intelligence support of militants in the region. The Treasury said it also blacklisted an IRGC brigadier general involved in the drone program and two men who conducted work for the companies, including buying parts from overseas.

Read the article by Ian Talley in The Australian (from The Wall Street Journal).