LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Thursday it would create a new sanctions regime for Iran, giving the UK more powers to target decision-makers, including those involved in arms proliferation and threats against British nationals.
Britain’s current sanctions regime against Iran focuses on human rights, but the proposals would broaden the scope of the criteria the government could cite to make new designations in the future.
“The Iranian regime oppresses its own people, exports bloodshed to Ukraine and the Middle East, and threatens to kill and kidnap on British soil,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
“Today the UK has sent a clear message to the regime – we will not tolerate this malicious behavior and we will hold you to account. Our new sanctions regime will help ensure there is no hiding place for those who seek to harm us.”
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Chargé d’Affaires of the British Embassy in Tehran for “destructive British statements and interference in our affairs”, Iran’s Arabic-language Al Alam TV channel reported on Thursday.
Britain has said that under the new regime, which will be legislated later this year, individuals and entities could also be punished if they helped undermine peace and stability in the Middle East and the rest of the world. the world.
He also said he testified before the UN Security Council that Iran continued to send weapons to the Houthis in Yemen and Russia to support its fighting in Ukraine.
Under the new criteria, sanctions could also target those Britain says are involved in undermining Iranian democracy and the rule of law in the UK, and hostile activities targeting British people or property, or Britain’s allies.
Britain says Iran has made at least 15 attempts to kidnap or even kill British nationals or UK-based individuals since the start of last year.
“What we have seen over the past 18 months is an unprecedented level of aggression from Iran against people here in the UK, trying to silence dissenting voices,” said Cleverly to reporters on Thursday.
Britain also announced new designations under its current human rights sanctions regime for Iran.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Muvija M; Additional reporting by Enas Alashray in Cairo; Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Richard Chang)