On February 3, the United States sanctioned eight executives of Paravar Pars Company, which manufactures suicide drones for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC exported hundreds of the Shahed-series drones to Russia for use against Ukraine. Russia launched the drones against both military and civilian targets, destroying infrastructure and killing hundreds. “The United States will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors engaged in this activity,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
The move marked the fourth round of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s drone program since Tehran began exporting drones to Russia in August 2022. The United States had previously sanctioned Paravar Pars Company in September 2022 as part of its first round of sanctions. The European Union designated the firm in December 2022.
The designations froze all assets of the designated individuals and entities within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibited transactions with them using the U.S. financial system. The sanctions were imposed under Executive Order 13382, which applied to entities accused of supporting Iran’s nuclear proliferation and missile-related activities. The United States also listed two Islamic Republic of Iran Navy vessels as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest. The vessel identifications were issued under Executive Order 13599, which blocks the property of all Iranian financial institutions and the government. The following is a list of the named men and vessels with statements from the State and Treasury Departments.
- Hossein Shamsabadi, managing director and CEO of Paravar Pars Company and member of the board of directors
- Ali Reza Tangsiri, chairman of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors and IRGC Navy commander
- Abualfazl Nazeri, vice chairman of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors
- Mohammad Sadegh Heidari Mousa, member of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors and IRGC Navy official
- Mohsen Asadi, member of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors
- Mohammad Reza Mohammadi, member of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors
- Abulghasem Valagohar, member of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors
- Abulfazl Salehnejad, former member of the Paravar Pars Company board of directors
- IRIS MAKRAN, an oil tanker used for naval operations and capable of launching drones
- IRIS DENA, a naval frigate
Secretary of State Blinken
The United States is designating eight Iranian individuals in leadership roles at Paravar Pars, an Iranian firm that produces unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force. Iranian UAVs are being transferred to Russia for use in its brutal and unprovoked war against Ukraine.
We are taking this action pursuant to E.O. 13382. It follows the U.S. designations on November 15, 2022, September 8, 2022, and January 6, 2023, of individuals and entities linked to Iran’s UAV program.
Russia is using Iran-produced UAVs in attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. The Iranian regime’s military support for Russia helps fuel Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and has also resulted in violations of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which prohibits Iran’s provision of military UAVs to Russia without advance, case-by-case approval of the UN Security Council. The United States will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt and delay these transfers and impose costs on actors engaged in this activity.
The United States is also taking action today to identify two vessels, the IRIS Makran and the IRIS Dena, as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest, pursuant to E.O. 13599 and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR).
Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating eight senior executives of Paravar Pars Company (Paravar Pars), an Iran-based firm that was previously sanctioned by the United States and European Union for manufacturing Shahed-series unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC ASF). OFAC is also identifying two Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) vessels, the IRIS MAKRAN and the frigate IRIS DENA, as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest.
“Iranian entities continue to produce UAVs for Iran’s IRGC and military. More broadly, Iran is supplying UAVs for Russia’s combat operations to target critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue to aggressively target all elements of Iran’s UAV program.”
Today’s action is taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, “Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters.” Since September 2022, the United States has issued five rounds of designations of individuals and entities involved in the production and transfer of Iranian UAVs, some of which have been used by Moscow in attacks on civilians.
Paravar Pars has manufactured and tested UAVs for the IRGC ASF and IRGC Navy, and the firm specifically played a role in the research, development, and production of the Shahed-171 UAV. Paravar Pars was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on September 8, 2022, for having provided, or attempted to provide, financial, material, technological or other support for, or goods or services in support of, the IRGC ASF.
PARAVAR PARS’ BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Hossein Shamsabadi (Shamsabadi) currently serves as Paravar Pars’ Managing Director and CEO, and as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors.
Ali Reza Tangsiri (Tangsiri) currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Paravar Pars. Tangsiri is also the Commander of the IRGC Navy and has publicly discussed IRGC Navy drills involving fixed-wing aircraft and UAVs. As Commander, Tangsiri has overseen the IRGC Navy’s testing of UAVs and cruise missiles. Tangsiri was previously designated pursuant to the counterterrorism authority E.O. 13224 on June 24, 2019, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC.
Abualfazl Nazeri (Nazeri) currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Paravar Pars.
Mohsen Asadi (Asadi) is currently serving as a member of Paravar Pars’ Board of Directors and has previously served in a managerial role for the company.
Mohammad Sadegh Heidari Mousa (Heidari Mousa) currently serves as a member of Paravar Pars’ Board of Directors. Mousa is also an IRGC Navy official.
Abulfazl Salehnejad (Salehnejad) has served as a member of Paravar Pars’ Board of Directors.
Mohammad Reza Mohammadi (Mohammadi) and Abulghasem Valagohar (Valagohar) currently serve as members of Paravar Pars’ Board of Directors.
Shamsabadi, Tangsiri, Nazeri, Asadi, Heidari Mousa, Salehnejad, Mohammadi, and Valagohar are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Paravar Pars.
The forward base ship IRIS MAKRAN (MAKRAN), an oil tanker that was repurposed for naval operations and maintains UAV launch capabilities, is currently conducting an international voyage. The naval frigate IRIS DENA (DENA) is accompanying the MAKRAN on this voyage.
The MAKRAN and DENA are being identified as property in which the Government of Iran has an interest pursuant to E.O. 13599, “Blocking Property of the Government of Iran and Iranian Financial Institutions.”
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. All transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons are prohibited.
In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals or entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions. Furthermore, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction or provides significant financial services for any of the individuals or entities designated today pursuant to E.O. 13382 could be subject to U.S. sanctions.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from OFAC’s ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s FAQ 897.