UK places sanctions on individuals and firms linked to Iran drone industry

The UK has announced sanctions against individuals and companies linked to Iran’s drone and missile industry.

Two people linked to the country’s network of drone production, Seyed Mohsen Vahabzadeh Moghadam and Abbas Abdi Asjerd, will be subject to a UK travel ban and asset freeze.

The pair are directors of a network of Iranian companies involved in producing drones.

They also have connections to a man named Abdollah Mehrabi, head of an aerospace force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who was sanctioned in 2022 for providing drones to Russia.

Four companies – Bonyan Danesh Shargh, Pishro Sanat Aseman Sharif Company, Alvand Motorbuilding Industries Company and Moj Gostar Aseman Parvaz Company – will also face a UK asset freeze.

Lord Cameron
Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the sanctions send a ‘clear message’ to Iran (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“Today the UK and our partners have sent a clear message – we will hold those responsible for Iran’s destabilising behaviour to account.

“Alongside our partners, we will continue to tighten the net on Iran’s ability to develop and export these deadly weapons.”

The package of sanctions has been announced in co-ordination with the US and Canada, and follows Iran’s missile and drone attack against Israel earlier this month.

A similar set of restrictions were announced on April 18, aimed at Iranian military top brass and defence organisations.

G7 foreign ministers, including Lord Cameron, last week warned they were planning joint action in order to stifle Iran’s influence in the Middle East.

More than 400 sanctions have already been imposed on Iran by the UK, including on the entirety of the IRGC.

The UK has further plans to expand trade sanctions against the Iranian regime by introducing a ban on exporting the component parts used in drone and missile production to Iran.

This is intended to deny Iran access to the parts it needs to make these weapons and limit its military capabilities.

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