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Report: Downed Iran drone in Ukraine contained US parts

January 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Shows an Iranian Simorgh drone in southern Iran [Iranian Army office/AFP via Getty Images]

An Iranian drone shot down in Ukraine last year was found to contain parts made by 13 US companies, according to a Ukrainian intelligence report obtained by CNN.

The investigation found discovered that 40 out of the 52 components that made up the Iranian-made Shahed 136 “suicide drone” were produced by US companies. The remaining 12 parts were manufactured by companies in Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan and China.

Yesterday the White House said it was looking into curbing Iranian drone production through increased sanctions and export controls and has been in contact with the private firms whose parts were found in the drones.

“We are assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement. There is no evidence to suggest that the companies have contravened US sanction laws.

READ: Iran employs drones in massive war games amid tensions with West

Last month, the Biden administration indicated that it was not planning to address the proliferation of Iranian drones being used by the Russian military, according to a source cited by Reuters. This followed reports that Washington was aware of the US parts present in Iranian drones and launched a probe into the matter.

According to CNN, the revelations in the intelligence report are further proof that Iran is still able to obtain commercially available technology, despite being under severe sanctions.

The US has previously suspected Tehran was providing drones to Russia to use in Ukraine since last summer. Iran had initially denied it had supplied drones to Russia, but later acknowledged this, insisting that they were sent prior to Moscow’s February.

In a briefing last month, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said: “Iran is providing Russia with drones for use on the battlefield in Ukraine.”

“In exchange, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical support that is transforming their relationship into a full-fledged defence partnership,” he added.