MEK: US Sanctions Iranian Commander
The Biden administration sanctioned the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) military drone unit, under whose command the US claims Iran carried out a deadly strike on a cargo vessel earlier this year.
A number of additional individuals by the US
A number of additional individuals and companies linked to Iran’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program were also sanctioned by the US.
The sanctions come three months after a drone strike on the Mercer Street vessel, which was off the coast of Oman at the time — an action that heightened regional tensions and provoked a united outcry from the G7 coalition of nations, as well as promises from the US of a coordinated response.
The news of new sanctions also comes a week after a drone strike on a US base in Syria that a US official blamed on Iran, and days after Iran’s hardliner president Ebrahim Raisi announced that after months of delay, it will resume nuclear talks with the US.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani, according to the US Treasury Department, is in charge of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Command, which “directs the planning, equipment, and training” for its missions.
The UAV Command “Under his leadership,” planned the attack on Mercer Street at the end of July that killed two crew members, according to the Treasury Department.
“Aghajani also was behind a UAV attack against a Saudi Arabian oil refinery in 2019.” per a press release by the Treasury Department.
Imposing the new sanctions
“Iran’s proliferation of UAVs across the region threatens international peace and stability. Iran and its proxy militants have used UAVs to attack US forces, our partners, and international shipping,” Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, stated in a statement.
Iran’s national news agency, IRNA, issued a statement on Friday condemning the newly imposed sanctions.
“Imposing the new sanctions is a sign of the White House’s contradictory behavior,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, calling it “Ironic” that the US government is “claiming to have the intention to come back to JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], but is now following the suit of Trump in continuing the sanctions, and is sending the message that is not trustable.”
The drone used in the deadly Mercer Street
In August, a team of experts from the US Defense Department decided that the drone used in the deadly Mercer Street attack was made in Iran.
As per Central Command, the tanker was targeted by three explosive UAVs, one of which was effective in causing “extensive damage” to the ship.”
“The use of Iranian designed and produced one-way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region,” US Central Command claimed. “They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”
Condemned by the G7 nations as a whole
According to the statement, the US team exchanged information with both British and Israeli explosive specialists, and “both partners concurred with the US findings.”
Iran denied any involvement in the incident, which was condemned by the G7 nations as a whole.
The foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, as well as the European Union’s High Representative, described the strike as “a deliberate and targeted attack, and a clear violation of international law.”
“All available evidence clearly points to Iran. There is no justification for this attack,” In early August, a day after hardliner Raisi was sworn in as President of Iran, they remarked in a joint statement.
and follow NCRI (Twitter & Facebook) and People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – MEK IRAN – YouTube