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Source: Bloomberg

Jul 6, 2023

UK Sanctions Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Over Kidnap Threats
  • Foreign Secretary Cleverly announces measures in Parliament

  • Says Iran intelligence services linking up with criminal gangs

By Jonathan Browning

The UK announced sanctions on more than a dozen Iranian individuals and government entities, warning that the administration in Tehran has stepped up efforts to kill or kidnap British or UK-based individuals.

Rishi Sunak’s government said it is hitting the cyber defence command operations of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with asset freezes and travel bans, on the grounds that the UK has faced more than 15 credible threats.

It also warned that Iranian intelligence services had developed close relationships with criminal gangs in the UK. Twelve others were sanctioned.

“The Iranian regime is oppressing its own people, exporting bloodshed in Ukraine and the Middle East, and threatening to kill and kidnap on UK soil,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in the House of Commons on Thursday. 

The UK is setting up a new Iran-specific regime to make it easier to target individuals for their activities outside of the country as well as tackle the Iranian flow of weapons to Russia. It’s already sanctioned some 350 entities under existing human rights legislation and other regimes.

The move comes as the UK takes the presidency of the United Nations Security Council. The government will raise the issue of international opposition to Iran’s weapons proliferation and nuclear escalation at the UN on Thursday.

The UK has previously condemned a number of Iranian plots in Europe, saying Denmark and the Netherlands had thwarted assassination attempts. 

Last month, the US detailed what it called an escalating military collaboration between Tehran and Moscow. Iran has repeatedly denied shipping drones to Russia since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

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