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Ukrainian intelligence has found 40 components produced by 13 U.S. companies in one of Russia's Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones downed in Ukraine in the fall, CNN reported, citing a Ukrainian intelligence assessment.
The remaining 12 drone parts were made by companies in Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, and China, according to the assessment.
Experts told CNN that there is no evidence that any of these companies are in violation of U.S. sanctions laws and are knowingly exporting their technology for Iran’s use in drones.
Many companies promise to increase monitoring but it is often very challenging for manufacturers to control where these parts end up in the global market, experts said.
It is not the first time Western-made parts were found in Iranian kamikaze drones.
In November, Ukrainian civic watchdog StateWatch and the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission, an NGO, published an investigation finding that Shahed drones, with the exception of the engine, consist entirely of foreign-made parts.
CNN reported on Dec. 21 that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration had established a task force to investigate how Western technology ended up in Iranian-made kamikaze drones.
“We are looking at ways to target Iranian UAV production through sanctions, export controls, and talking to private companies whose parts have been used in the production. We are assessing further steps we can take in terms of export controls to restrict Iran’s access to technologies used in drones,” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told CNN.
In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions against companies and individuals involved in the production and transfer of Iranian drones to Russia.
Russia has been using Iranian-made kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine since September, launching attacks against civilians and destroying energy facilities across the country.