US imposes more sanctions on Iran over drones for Russia

The White House on Jan. 6 announced new sanctions on Iran's aviation and defense sector for supplying the drones Russia uses to bomb Ukraine's civilian infrastructure.

The sanctions will affect six executives and board members of Iran's top defense contractor, Qods Aviation Industries, as well as the director of Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization overseeing its ballistic missile program, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

"Iran is fueling Russia’s war in Ukraine with its provision of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology. Today, the United States sanctioned seven people involved in Iran’s UAV and ballistic missile programs – programs Moscow is using to target Ukraine’s critical infrastructure," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Iran has been a key source of kamikaze drones that Russia has launched at Ukraine by the hundreds. The Joe Biden administration has scrambled to try to block Tehran from supplying the drones, many of which use Western-made parts. However, it's difficult to control these parts, many of which are widely available and have civilian applications.

Ukraine has shot down more than 500 drones launched by Russia since September, according to the Air Force of Ukraine's Armed Forces.