(Bloomberg) -- The US sanctioned more than a dozen Iranian ships, people and companies linked to the country’s drone program, the latest in a push to punish Tehran over its April 13 attack on Israel and support for proxy militant groups in the Middle East. 

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Sahara Thunder, which it says is a front company for Iran’s military and helps procure drones and other material. The group is also active in Russia, where it helped establish a drone factory under a $1.75 billion contract, Treasury said in a statement Thursday.

Sahara Thunder relies on a global shipping network to sell Iranian commodities, including in China, Russia and Venezuela, according to Treasury. As part of that network, Treasury is sanctioning UAE-based Safe Seas Management FZE. The ships Chem, Dancy Dynamic, KMA and Conrad are being labeled as blocked property due to connections to Safe Seas.

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The US is also sanctioning a vessel called La Pearl, also known as Elite, for a ship-to-ship transfer of Iranian commodities in international waters near Singapore, according to the statement.

Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson said Iran has been using its drones to “destabilize the region and the world,” citing the use of Iranian drones in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iran’s attack on Israel and its support for “terrorist proxies” throughout the Middle East. 

The UK and Canada are also imposing sanctions targeting Iran’s drone program, along with the US, according to Treasury.

--With assistance from Matt Shirley.

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