The U.S. government is investigating the circumstances behind Western-made parts found in Iranian drones Russia has used to pummel Ukraine’s energy infrastructure in recent weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Of more than 200 technical components found in remains of shot-down Iranian drones, at least half could be traced to U.S. firms and a third to firms in Japan, the WSJ reported, citing Ukrainian military intelligence verified in a report by Ukraine’s Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO) and viewed by the outlet. Despite U.S. efforts to thwart Russia’s supply of Iranian drones, the Kremlin continues to employ the weapons in highly destructive attacks on civilian targets throughout Ukraine.
“The proliferation of weapons into Ukraine for use against Ukrainian people is a top priority for us, and we’re going to investigate any illegal export that might be connected with that effort,” a senior official from the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for much of a sanctions regime of historic proportions targeting Iranian weapons exports, told the WSJ.
Ukrainian intelligence estimated that up to three quarters of the parts in Iran’s drones, primarily the Shahed-136 “suicide” drone and the Mohajer-6, were of U.S. origin, according to the WSJ.