The United States is expected to announce new export control rules for Iranian drones and parts that Russia used in the war against Ukraine.
The export control announcement will coincide with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s trip to Washington and could be part of a larger package of sanctions, Bloomberg reported.
The US has led a wide-ranging international campaign to deny Russia access to advanced Western technology since the Kremlin launched its war in February, and has for years supported a wide-ranging sanctions campaign against Iran that is partly designed to do the same. most for Tehran.
But these efforts do not seem to have borne fruit. An analysis of downed Iranian drones used by Russia in Ukraine, unearthed in November, suggests that most of the drones were produced in the US, Europe or other Western allies.
Ukrainian intelligence agencies have determined that three-quarters of Iranian drone parts were made in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported last month, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter and documents it reviewed.
The findings, as well as those of other researchers who have studied Iranian drones, prompted the administration to create its task force, CNN reported. The investigation “intensified” recently after US intelligence agencies revealed that Moscow was planning to open a drone manufacturing plant in Russia, the news network reported.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby acknowledged this on Dec. 9, saying that Russia and Iran are transforming their military relationship into a “full-scale defense partnership.” He added: “We urge Iran to change this course and not take these steps.”
CNN previously reported that Iran has already begun the first steps to set up a drone factory in Russia, saying Tehran has handed over key elements, including blueprints and components, to Russia.
The White House and the National Security Council did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the claimed task force, but CNN described it as a massive undertaking involving multiple US agencies, including the Pentagon, State Department, Commerce Department and Treasury.
It’s an “all hands on deck” situation, according to an anonymous CNN source. In addition to identifying how US-made components enter Iran, the task force seeks to determine how the US can act to limit Tehran’s access to Western-designed technology components.