WH task force investigates how US technology ends up in Iranian-made drones: report

The Biden administration has established a task force as part of an “all hands on deck” investigation into how US-made technology is ending up in Iranian-made drones that Russia is using to strike targets in Ukraineaccording to a report on Wednesday.

Despite strict export restrictions and United Nations sanctions, Tehran has been able to obtain commercially available high-end materials that increase the drones’ targeting and navigation capabilities. CNN informed.

The report came before the Ukrainian one. President Volodymyr ZelenskyWednesday’s meeting with President Biden and address to Congress as US lawmakers debate more security and military aid for the country.

Conflict Weapons Research, A UK-based research organization said an examination of the drones shot down in Ukraine last month found that 82% of their components were made by US technology companies, according to the report.

A police officer examines parts of a drone used in an attack on a fuel station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on October 6.
A police officer examines parts of a drone used in an attack on a fuel station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on October 6.
REUTERS
A drone is used in a military exercise at an undisclosed location in Iran.
A drone is used in a military exercise at an undisclosed location in Iran.
via REUTERS

CAR’s examination found that 70 companies in 17 different countries made the hundreds of components found in drones, but the vast majority came from the United States.

Those companies include Dallas-based Texas Instruments and an Austrian company owned by Canada’s Bombardier Recreational Products, CNN reported, citing a Ukrainian Armed Forces investigation and a source.

The report noted that both companies have condemned the illegal use of their products, and officials told CNN that there is no evidence that any Western company is exporting their technology to Iran for use in the drones.

Firefighters at an apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, attacked by a drone on October 17.
Firefighters at an apartment building in Kyiv, Ukraine, attacked by a drone on October 17.
access point

The White House National Security Council is overseeing the task force, which stretches across the Defense, State, Justice, Commerce and Treasury departments in an “all hands on deck” initiative, according to the report. .

The investigation is part of a larger “holistic approach” to dealing with Iran, which also involves Tehran’s crackdown on protesters and its nuclear program.

The report noted how products intended for civilian use can be adapted for military purposes.

A drone flies over Kyiv, Ukraine, on October 17.
A drone flies over Kyiv, Ukraine, on October 17.
AFP via Getty Images

Texas Instruments, in a statement to CNN, said it “is not selling any products to Russia, Belarus or Iran.”

“TI complies with applicable laws and regulations in the countries where we operate and partners with law enforcement organizations as necessary and appropriate. In addition, we do not support or condone the use of our products in applications for which they were not designed,” the statement said.

Bombardier said it would launch an internal investigation into how its engine parts ended up on the drones.

Parts of what Ukrainian officials believe to be an Iranian-made drone after an attack on a fuel dump in Kharkiv on October 6.
Parts of what Ukrainian officials believe to be an Iranian-made drone after an attack on a fuel dump in Kharkiv on October 6.
REUTERS

The task force’s investigation has accelerated in recent weeks after US intelligence learned that Moscow plans to open a factory to produce drones inside Russia, and Iran has already begun transferring blueprints and components for the weapons as part of their military alliance. in expansion.

The CAR report concluded that the Iranian drones found in Russia represent a “significant leap in hardware compared to other systems previously observed in the Middle East.”

Components found in drones “advance significantly” in features that improve targeting accuracy and satellite navigation.

A part of a drone shot down by Ukrainian forces near Odessa on September 25.
A part of a drone shot down by Ukrainian forces near Odessa on September 25.
via REUTERS

The high-end material, the organization found, “demonstrates that Iran has been able to circumvent current sanctions regimes and has added more capabilities and resilience to its weapons.”

Iranian-made drones in Russia “include high-end components, such as semiconductors and tactical-grade inertial measurement units, that have been sourced outside of Iran. Some of these components are on the US control list for hardware that is prohibited for export to Iran.”

The White House task force is also working with foreign allies because some of the drone components come from manufacturers in Asia and Europe.

The Biden administration says it believes it has been successful in convincing allies abroad of the seriousness of the threat.

There is a “widening and deepening international consensus on Iran, from the EU to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, that is led by US diplomacy,” an official told CNN.

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