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UK sanctions Iranian officials over plot to kill journalists

1 min

Britain on Monday imposed sanctions on Iranian officials it said were involved in threats to kill journalists on British soil, and others it said were part of international criminal gangs linked to Iran.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, Reuters/Murad Sezer

Britain on Monday imposed sanctions on Iranian officials it said were involved in threats to kill journalists on British soil, and others it said were part of international criminal gangs linked to Iran.

The sanctions, imposed in coordination with the United States, target seven individuals and one organisation, Britain's Foreign Office said.

The sanctioned Iranian officials are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Unit 840, which an ITV investigation in Britain said was involved in plots to assassinate two television presenters from news channel Iran International in the UK.

“The Iranian regime and the criminal gangs who operate on its behalf pose an unacceptable threat to the UK’s security," British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said.

“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."

Earlier, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was concerned about tensions in the Middle East and urged Iran to de-escalate after an attack that killed three U.S. service members in northeastern Jordan near Syria's border.

Police and security officials have warned about Iran's growing use of criminal proxies.

"Why would you do it yourself when you can procure an organised criminal to take the action on your behalf and provide distance and deniability," Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes, Britain's head of counter-terrorism policing, told media earlier this month.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, Muvija M and Michael Holden

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