UK announces fresh sanctions against Iran over plot to kill two news presenters in London

29 January 2024, 16:02 | Updated: 29 January 2024, 16:14

Britain and the White House have blamed Iran-linked militias of being behind a fatal drone strike on a US base.
Britain and the White House have blamed Iran-linked militias of being behind a fatal drone strike on a US base. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

The UK has announced fresh sanctions against Iranian officials accused of being behind a threat to kill two news presenters in London.

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The officials were hit with asset freezes along with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds unit that has allegedly targeted people in Britain.

Four other Iran-linked individuals, including two Turkish nationals, were also hit with sanctions after being accused of killing an Iranian dissident in Istanbul.

The Foreign Office said an Iranian who is head of an international drug and trafficking cartel was also targeted for allegedly planning or conducting overseas attacks.

Read more: Sunak urges Iran to 'de-escalate' after deadly drone attack on US soldiers in Jordan, as Trump warns of World War 3

Read more: Three US troops killed in Jordan by drone strike blamed on 'Iran-backed militants' by Biden

The sanctions come following an investigation into plots to assassinate two television presenters from the Iran International TV channel in the UK, the Foreign Office said.

At least 15 threats are said to have been made since January 2022.

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said: "The Iranian regime and the criminal gangs who operate on its behalf 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.

"The UK and US have sent a clear message - we will not tolerate this threat."

The package has been co-ordinated with the US amid heightening tensions in the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war started on October 7.

It comes after a drone attack killed three American soldiers in Jordan over the weekend, with Britain and the White House blaming Iran-linked militias of being behind the strike.

Rishi Sunak said that he was "concerned" about Saturday&squot;s deadly attack.
Rishi Sunak said that he was "concerned" about Saturday's deadly attack. Picture: Alamy

Rishi Sunak said that he was "concerned" about Saturday's deadly attack.

"We are concerned and would urge Iran to continue to de-escalate tensions in the region," the PM said.

"We absolutely condemn what has happened over the past couple of days.

"My thoughts are with all of those impacted, those who lost their lives, their families and those that are injured.

"We stand resolutely with our allies to bring stability and peace to the region. And that's what we'll continue to work towards."

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