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U.S. sanctions Iranian hackers, missile and drone programs

By Doug Cunningham   |   Feb. 2, 2024 at 11:59 AM
The U.S. Treasury Department Friday imposed more sanctions on Iranian missile and drone programs as well as on individuals in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Cyber-Electronic Command. President Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi. is shown at the UN General Assembly Sept. 19, 2023 in New York City. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- More U.S. sanctions on Iran were imposed Friday against networks supporting ballistic missile and UAV programs, and six people the Treasury Department said are behind malicious cyber activities on critical infrastructure.

FY International Trading Co., Limited, Duling Technology HK Limited, Advantage Trading Co., Limited, Narin Sepehr Mobin Istatis, and China Oil and Petroleum Company Limited were sanctioned for their alleged various roles in supporting Iran's missile and drone programs.


The Treasury Department said the first three companies are Hong-Kong based front companies financially facilitating Iranian missiles, drones and procurement of components used in missile and drone production.

Narin Sepehr Mobin Istatis is an Iran-based subsidiary of PKGB, an entity sanctioned earlier for supporting multiple Iranian military organizations.

China Oil and Petroleum Company is also Hong Kong-based and has allegedly sold hundreds of millions of dollars of Iranian commodities.

"Iran's continued proliferation of its advanced conventional weapons, including the UAVs and missiles that target U.S. soldiers, remains a critical threat to the stability of the region," said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson in a statement.

The six people sanctioned for malicious cyber actions against critical infrastructure are Hamid Reza Lashgarian, Mahdi Lashgarian, Hamid Homayunfal, Milad Mansuri, Mohammad Bagher Shirinkar, and Reza Mohammad Amin Saberian.

"The deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure by Iranian cyber actors is an unconscionable and dangerous act," Nelson said in a separate statement.

Lashgarian is head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Cyber-Electronic Command. The other five, according to the Treasury Department, are senior officials of the IRGC-CEC.

Treasury said the cyber sanctions are in response to the "IRGC-affiliated cyber actors' recent cyber operations in which they hacked and posted images on the screens of programmable logic controllers manufactured by Unitronics, an Israeli company."

While those actions didn't disrupt critical services, according to the Treasury Department, "unauthorized access to critical infrastructure systems can enable actions that harm the public and cause devastating humanitarian consequences."