A group of US lawmakers proposed a new bill on Wednesday to hinder Iran’s drone programme, following recent attacks on U.S. troops and military bases across the Middle East region.
The bill was introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Gregory Meeks; House Member Michael McCaul; Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and Global Counterterrorism, Ted Deutch; and Joe Wilson to further extend the current sanctions to include individuals contributing to Iran’s programme by supplying, transferring or selling military drones to or from the country.
The bill comes after a series of drone attacks targeting U.S. bases in Iraq, an oil tanker off the Omani coast as well as Saudi Arabia
“With this bill, we are ensuring the world knows that the U.S. will use every tool to cut off Iran’s UAV supplies and to punish those who continue to supply Iran with UAVs and parts despite their destructive impact,” Michael McCaul said.
The White House announced new sanctions in October, on Saeed Aghajani, Leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ UAV Command for orchestrating the 2019 drone attack on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia and the July 29, 2021 strike on a commercial oil tanker off the coast of Oman, leaving two crew members dead.
Additionally, the sanctions included two companies, Kimia Part Sivan and Oje Parvaz Mado Nafar, for providing components and developing the Revolutionary Guards’ armed UAVs.
“Deadly drones in the hands of the world’s greatest exporter of terrorism, Iran, jeopardizes the security of the United States and regional peace,” Meeks stated, adding that the bill sends
“a strong signal to the international community” that supporting Iran’s drone programme would not be tolerated.
The Iranian drone programme threatens the U.S. dominance in the region’s airspace, by allowing rivals access to small low-cost UAVs, according to analysts.