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HomeNewsGlobal NewsUK - US announces new sanctions to tackle threats from Iran

UK – US announces new sanctions to tackle threats from Iran

LONDON, England – A new sanctions package, coordinated with the US, targets Iranian officials responsible for threats to kill on UK soil and criminal gangs who do the regime’s bidding overseas, says the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Home Office,(FCDO).

The UK and US announced new sanctions to tackle the domestic threat posed by the Iranian regime, which seeks to export repression, harassment and coercion against journalists and human rights defenders. The UK will today (Monday, January 29) sanction seven individuals and one organisation, including senior Iranian officials and members of organised criminal gangs who collaborate with the regime, in order to expose and disrupt Iran’s activities in the UK and overseas.

“The Iranian officials designated are members of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Unit 840, which was exposed in an ITV investigation into plots to assassinate two television presenters from news channel Iran International on UK soil. This plot was just the latest credible reporting of the regime’s attempt to intimidate or kill British nationals or UK-linked individuals, with at least 15 such threats taking place since January 2022,” the FCDO press release said.

The Iranian regime delivers its threats via criminal gangs across the world. As a result, the UK and US have targeted the criminal gang leaders working with Iran, for example Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti, the head of an international criminal and trafficking cartel, who was linked to the 2019 murder of an Iranian dissident in Istanbul.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron, said:

“The Iranian regime and the criminal gangs who operate on its behalf pose an unacceptable threat to the UK’s security.

Today’s package exposes the roles of the Iranian officials and gangs involved in activity aimed to undermine, silence and disrupt the democratic freedoms we value in the UK.

“The UK and US have sent a clear message – we will not tolerate this threat.”

The foreign secretary summoned the Iranian Charge d’Affaires on 22 December, to make clear that threats from the Iranian Regime will not be tolerated.

To date, the UK has more than 400 sanctions designations in place on Iranian individuals and entities in response to the regime’s human rights violations, nuclear weapons programme and malign influence internationally.

Today’s designations sit under the UK’s new Iran sanctions regime, which came into effect in December 2023 and gives the UK extensive new powers to hold Iran and those who undertake its hostile activity to account.

Home Secretary James Cleverly, said:

“The Iranian regime has tried to undermine our democracy through repression – we will continue to take action when necessary to protect our country, values and freedom of speech.

“We cannot allow foreign regimes to collaborate with criminals to threaten us. Sanctioning these criminal networks working for the Iranian regime will remind them that we will fight back.

“My priority is to protect our people and to defend our way of life, and the UK will not tolerate threats from the Iranian regime.”

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