UK summons Iran envoy over threat to journalists, sanctions eight Iranian officials
Britain’s government summoned on Monday Iran’s most senior diplomat in London over “serious threats against journalists living in the UK,” and imposed sanctions on eight Iranian officials for being responsible for “repressing their own people.”
Iranian Chargé d’Affaires Mehdi Hosseini Matin was summon and met with British Director General for the Middle East Vijay Rangarajan who stressed that the “UK will not tolerate threats to life and media freedom.”
This follows London-based Iran International TV’s decision to shut down its operations in the UK, due to “significant escalation in state-backed threats from Iran.”
“I am appalled by the Iranian regime’s continuing threats to the lives of UK-based journalists and have today summoned its representative to make clear this will not be tolerated,” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.
New sanctions on Iran figures
Cleverly said: “As part of wider efforts to hold Iran to account, the UK has today also sanctioned a further eight individuals responsible for horrific human rights violations in Iran, including the killing of children.”
The latest British sanctions targeted three Iranian judges for imposing death penalties on protestors who were executed despite their convictions reportedly being based on forced confessions, the protestors being denied their right to have legal counsel, and at least one protestor who was subjected to torture.
In addition to the judges, the sanctions also targeted five commanders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The statement said that one of the sanctioned IRGC commanders was one in a province where “security forces have severely injured and killed children.”
The British sanctions “constitute an asset freeze and UK travel ban on the individuals concerned.”
“Since Mahsa Amini’s death in September 2022, the UK has imposed sanctions on more than 50 Iranian individuals and entities in response to human rights violations by the regime,” the British Foreign Office said.
Cleverly said: “We will never allow the regime’s threats to go unchallenged.”