June 4, 2023

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Kamikaze Killers: Iran’s Drones Fly with Western Technology

The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of sanctions. In recent years, there have been repeat attempts to deprive Iran of important goods for weapons production – by the European Union, the United States and the United Nations.

In 2015, the UN adopted Resolution 2231, which aims to stop Iran’s nuclear program. The resolution also aimed to prevent the development and construction of weapons delivery systems – ballistic missiles and cruise missiles as well as unmanned aerial vehicle systems with a range of 300 kilometers or more. That would include the Shahed 1131 and the Shahed 136. The transfer of these drones to Russia without the prior approval of the UN Security Council is a violation of the terms of the resolution.

The shift to higher tech capabilities in export weapons shows that the Iranians have found ways to circumvent the boycott. Part of this stems from the fact that it is difficult to control trade in the electronics used for such drones. “A lot of dual-use parts are built into drones, parts that are not only for military technology, but also for civilian technology.”

Between Low and High Tech

These simple components aren’t subject to sales and export controls. They can also be manufactured in countries other than the ones of origin. The components can be sourced through third countries before they enter Iran from there. The manufacturing companies aren’t even necessarily aware of such transactions involving their products. “I’m fundamentally skeptical that we can stop certain countries from producing drones,” Franke says.

But the CAR analysis also shows that modern and powerful drones do require high-tech components that are subject to export controls and can be included in sanctions. Franke says the main issue is better controlling and curbing the black market trading in high-end technologies.
Original News : https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/kamikaze-killers-iran-s-drones-fly-with-western-technology-a-81fef8ed-f76d-4b09-acee-6f955346dc8d#ref=rss

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