UK Government Introduces New Sanctions Regime Targeting Iranian Officials

The United Kingdom has announced its plans to implement a new sanctions regime against Iran, designed to give the country more extensive powers to target Iranian decision-makers. While the existing measures primarily focus on human rights, the proposed regime will extend the range of criteria, enabling the UK government to sanction individuals involved in weapons proliferation and threats against British nationals. Iran’s foreign ministry has summoned the British embassy’s charge d’affaires in Tehran, expressing concerns over perceived ‘interference’ in Iranian affairs.

by Fatima Abbas

The UK government has expressed its intention to initiate a new set of sanctions targeting Iran, which will empower it to take more stringent action against the Iranian decision-makers.

Existing sanctions primarily center around human rights violations, but the plans outlined on Thursday extend the sanctioning parameters. The revamped regime will enable the UK government to levy sanctions on those involved in weapons proliferation and posing threats against British citizens.

“The Iranian regime’s actions have been concerning, with evidence of oppression within its borders, spreading violence in Ukraine and the Middle East, and threatening the safety of UK citizens,” James Cleverly, British Foreign Secretary, said in a statement on Thursday.

“With today’s decision, we send a clear message to Iran – such malign behavior will not be tolerated, and you will be held accountable. Our new sanctions regime will help to ensure that those who seek to harm us will find no refuge.”

In response, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the British embassy’s charge d’affaires in Tehran, voicing its concerns over what it perceives as “destructive British statements and meddling in our internal affairs,” as reported by Iran’s Arabic-language television network Al-Alam on Thursday.

According to the UK government, the new sanctions regime, set to be legislated later this year, could also be used against individuals and entities contributing to the disruption of peace and stability in the Middle East and other regions.

The UK has also presented evidence to the United Nations Security Council alleging that Iran continues to supply weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, and to Russia in support of its military activities in Ukraine.

Iran maintains that while it supports the Houthi politically, it has not provided them with arms. Last November, Iran confirmed for the first time that it had sold drones to Russia, but claimed this transaction occurred “months” before the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022.

The proposed British sanctioning criteria could also target individuals and entities that the UK believes are involved in undermining democracy, rule of law within the UK, and activities hostile towards British citizens or property, or Britain’s allies.

Britain has claimed that there have been at least 15 attempts by Iran to kidnap or even kill UK nationals or individuals residing in the UK since the beginning of last year.

In a statement to reporters, Cleverly remarked, “What we have seen over the last 18 months is an unprecedented level of aggression from Iran against people here in the UK, aimed at stifling dissenting voices.”

(Associated Medias) – All right reserved