UK slaps fresh sanctions on Iran after Israel attack

UK slaps fresh sanctions on Iran after Israel attack
Iran launched its first direct military assault on Israeli territory nearly two weeks after a 1 April Israeli strike that killed seven IRGC members in Damascus.
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Iran used missiles as part of its retaliatory attack against Israel [Saeed Qaq/Anadolu/Getty]

The UK on Thursday joined the United States and Canada in announcing a fresh set of sanctions against Iran's drone and missile industries after its recent retaliatory attack on Israel.

Tehran launched its first direct military assault on Israeli territory nearly two weeks after a 1 April Israeli strike that killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Damascus.

Iran's large-scale attack involved more than 300 drones and missiles, most of which were shot down by Israel and its allies including Washington and London, causing little damage.

The United States and United Kingdom announced widespread sanctions on Iran last week, targeting individuals and companies involved in the Iranian drone industry.

The British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office said the latest sanctions would target two individuals and four companies closely involved in Iran's network of drone production.

Trade sanctions against Iran would also be expanded by introducing new bans on the export of components used in its produce of drones and missiles, it added.

"The Iranian regime's dangerous attack on Israel risked thousands of civilian casualties and wider escalation in the region," Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

"Alongside our partners, we will continue to tighten the net on Iran's ability to develop and export these deadly weapons."

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The UK already has over 400 sanctions imposed on Iran, including designations against the IRGC in its entirety and many of those responsible for the attack on Israel.

'Facilitating and financing'

The US Treasury Department also targeted Iran's military drone programme on Thursday, sanctioning more than a dozen individuals, companies, and ships it said played a key role in "facilitating and financing" clandestine sales of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the country's defence ministry.

"Iran's Ministry of Defence continues to destabilise the region and world with its support to Russia's war in Ukraine, unprecedented attack on Israel, and proliferation of UAVs and other dangerous military hardware to terrorist proxies," the US Treasury said.

"The United States, in close coordination with our British and Canadian partners, will continue to use all means available to combat those who would finance Iran's destabilising activities."

Canada on Thursday also sanctioned Iran's defence minister and a senior commander.

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Thursday's joint sanctions come a week after Washington targeted 16 people and two companies involved in Iran's UAV programme, as well as components for the drones used in the attack against Israel.

The UK government separately targeted seven individuals and six companies for enabling Iran to continue its "destabilising regional activity, including its direct attack on Israel".

The US also targeted five companies providing parts for Iran's steel industry, and an automaker involved in providing "material support" to Iran's IRGC.

The European Union imposed its own set of sanctions on Iran on Wednesday.