US to continue imposing sanctions on Russian, Iranian arms trade: White House

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Washington: The United States will continue to vigorously enforce sanctions on Russian and Iranian arms trade, the White House said, asserting that it will stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes.

This will make it harder for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference on Monday.

There is extensive proof of Russia using Iranian drones to target military and civilian targets in Ukraine, she added.

“We’ll continue to vigorously enforce US sanctions on both the Russian and Iranian arms trade — that’s what we’ll do from here, make it harder for Iran to sell these weapons to Russia. And we’ll stand with our partners throughout the region against that Iranian threat,” Jean-Pierre said.

Responding to questions, she said National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had warned in July that Iran was planning to sell UAVs to Russia for use against Ukraine.

“We also exposed publicly that Russia has received drones from Iran, that this was part of Russia’s plan to import hundreds of Iranian UAVs of various types, and that Russian operators continue to receive training in Iran on how to use these very systems,” she said.

“So, there is extensive proof of their use by Russia against both military and civilian targets there (Ukraine),” she added.

Jean-Pierre said the US is in daily touch with the Ukrainians across the administration, from the National Security Advisor to the Department of Defence and the Department of State.

On Friday, the US announced an additional security package of USD 725 million for Ukraine to provide critical needs for it to continue to defend itself.

“We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes. We are going to continue to work with our allies and partners. We will continue to impose costs on Russia, hold it accountable for its war crimes, as we’ve talked about — you’ve heard directly from the President on the war crimes piece — and its atrocities, and provide Ukraine with security, economic, and humanitarian assistance,” Jean-Pierre said.

At a separate news conference, State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said Russia’s deepening alliance with Iran is something that should be seen as a profound threat and something that any country should pay very close attention to.

“This is something that we’re continuing to monitor closely on our end, and we’re in close touch with our allies and partners, including those in the United Nations, to address Iran’s dangerous proliferation of weapons to Russia,” he said.

Patel further said, “Anyone doing business with Iran that could have any link to UAVs or ballistic missile developments or the flow of arms from Iran to Russia should be very careful and do their due diligence.”

“The US will not hesitate to use sanctions or take actions against perpetrators. I don’t have specific actions to read out or preview but this is something that we’re continuing to pay very close attention to,” he said.

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