Members of IRGC stand next to an Iranian Mahan Air Airlines’ aircraft at Tehran’s International Mehrabad Airport. REUTERS./

By David Shepardson

 – The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday said it will add three Iranian cargo planes serving Russia to a list of aircraft believed to violate U.S. export controls under the Biden administration’s sanctions.

Using commercially available data, the Commerce Department identified Boeing 747s operated by Mahan Air, Qeshm Fars Air and Iran Air transporting goods, including electronic items, to Russia in apparent violation of stringent U.S. export controls on Russia related to its invasion of Ukraine. These are the first three Iranian airplanes identified, the department said.

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The department has warned that any refueling, maintenance, repair, spare parts or services violate U.S. export controls and subject companies to U.S. enforcement actions.

Iran has publicly announced its intention to expand cooperation with Russia in the aviation sector by providing spare parts for its airplanes, the Commerce Department said.

With the additions, there were 183 aircraft on the list for apparent violations of U.S. export controls, the department said. The three Iranian airlines identified Monday were already subject to a variety of restrictions by the U.S. government.

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Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod said U.S. “controls, especially on items such as electronics and aircraft parts, have degraded Russia’s defense industrial base, severely restricted their access to the world economy.”

“When Russia seeks to engage pariah states like Iran in order to backfill for what the international community has cut off, we will take action to thwart such attempts and disrupt such connections,” he added.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Cynthia Osterman)

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