UK, US announce news sanctions on Iranian officials targeting dissidents, rights activists

London/Washington, Jan 29 (EFE).- The United Kingdom and the United States announced new sanctions on Monday to tackle the domestic threat from the Iranian regime targeting dissidents and rights activists.

A British Foreign Office press statement said seven people, including officials and members of Iranian organized crime gangs, would be subjected to UK travel bans and asset freezes.

The US Treasury Department said it was also taking “action against a network of individuals that targeted Iranian dissidents and opposition activists for assassination at the direction of the Iranian regime.”

The department said the network was led by Iranian narcotics trafficker Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti and operates at the behest of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

“The Iranian regime’s continued efforts to target dissidents and activists demonstrate the regime’s deep insecurity and attempt to expand Iran’s domestic repression internationally,” said Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“The United States, alongside our international allies and partners, including the United Kingdom, will continue to combat the Iranian regime’s transnational repression and will utilize all available tools to stop this threat, especially on US soil.”

The designated officials are members of the so-called Unit 840 of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran, who, as revealed by an investigation by the British television channel ITV, conspired to murder two television presenters working at the Iran International news channel on British soil.

According to the note, this plot is the latest credible allegation of an attempt by the regime to intimidate or kill British citizens or individuals linked to the United Kingdom, with at least 15 such threats occurring since January 2022.

The UK Foreign Office pointed out that the Iranian regime carried out its threats through criminal gangs worldwide.

According to British Foreign Minister David Cameron, the Iranian regime and the associated criminal gangs “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,” Cameron said.

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 program, and malign influence internationally.

“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,” British Home Affairs Minister James Cleverly said.

“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.” EFE


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