U.S. Reportedly Plans Sanctions Against Iran’s Drones And Guided Missiles

(New York, N.Y.) — U.S. officials are reportedly preparing to launch a sanctions campaign against Iran to deter its use of drones and guided missiles, which are increasingly viewed as an “immediate danger” to U.S. forces and its allies in the Middle East. Iran’s usage of increasingly sophisticated drones and guided missiles has been growing in recent years. In 2019, a missile and drone attack by Tehran shut down half of the crude oil output of Saudi Arabia. Recently, Saudi Arabia was attacked over 100 times by artillery fired by Iranian proxies in Yemen, and Israeli officials say that Hamas used Iranian drone technology during the May conflict.

Since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, Tehran’s ballistic missile program continues to pose a serious threat to the United States, its allies, and its strategic interests in the Middle East. Iran has test-fired more than 30 nuclear-capable ballistic missiles since July 2015, despite a UN Security Council resolution, approved along with the nuclear accord, explicitly calling on Iran to refrain from such activity. Iran has shown no signs of slowing the development of its ballistic missile program, which is inextricably intertwined with its nuclear program. In fact, long-range ballistic missiles have historically always been developed in unison a nuclear weapons program.

Another arena where Iran has expended considerable investment is in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, giving Iran an additional means of lethal power projection outside of its borders. Iran is also providing UAV systems to its proxies who act on Tehran’s behalf, further enhancing its ability to threaten the U.S. and its allies. UAVs serve two primary military functions, surveillance and attack. Iran’s capabilities continue to grow, spurred by increased investment in domestic drone manufacturing and technological advancements and by accessible innovations in the commercial drone market. 

In tandem with investing in counter-drone technologies and bolstering air defenses by working collaboratively with allies, the U.S.’s efforts to rein in Iran’s illicit drone and missile pursuits through sanctions is an important component of a multi-pronged strategy to neutralize the Iranian aerial threat. 

To read United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)’s Ballistic Missile Program resource, please click here. 

To read UANI’s The Iranian Drone Threat resource, please click here.