Iran retaliates with sanctions against EU, UK
Iran sanctioned the individuals and organizations over their support for terrorism, and interfering with national affairs
By News Desk - January 25 2023

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

On 25 January, the Iranian government announced that Tehran would implement sanctions against 34 individuals and organizations affiliated with the UK and the European Union, days after London imposed sanctions against several Iranian entities and officials.

Iran’s foreign ministry disclosed that the individuals and groups sanctioned by Tehran were targeted due to their continuous support of “terrorism and terrorist groups” that have encouraged or inflicted violent acts against the people of Iran, interfering with national affairs, disseminating false information about the Islamic Republic, and contributing to prolonging the current instability in Iran caused by nation-wide protests.

Among the sanctioned individuals is Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, the publishing manager of Charlie Hebdo magazine Laurent Sourisseau, Attorney General for England and Wales Victoria Prentis, Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, former head of the UK-based MI6 agency Richard Dearlove, and head of the British Army Patrick Sanders. 

Earlier this month, the UK Ambassador to Iran, Simon Shercliff, was summoned by Tehran over Britain’s interference in Iran’s internal affairs.

The incident came following UK officials’ heated response to the execution of former high-ranking official and Iranian-British dual national Alireza Akbari, who was executed on the same day he was sentenced to death on charges of spying for UK intelligence service MI6.

According to Mizan News Agency, Akbari was executed on corruption charges and “extensive acts against the country’s internal and external security.” He also received 1,805,000 euros, 265,000 pounds, and $50,000 for his collaboration with the UK.

This month, the UK also began preparations for the designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization under the country’s Terrorism Act. Following a parliamentary debate over the adoption of the policy, government minister Leo Docherty informed the House of Commons on 12 January that the issue was being actively considered but did not clarify when the decision would be taken.

If the UK designates the IRGC as a terrorist organization, it will join the US, France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. That said, the decision poses a risk, as the British government would have to apply the same to its allies’ armed forces.

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