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US, UK impose sanctions on group targeting Iran critics

By AFP

January 29, 2024 08:23 PM


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The United States and Britain announced sanctions Monday on a network which they say targeted Iranian dissidents and activists for assassination.

The group, said to run "at the behest of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)," is alleged to have conducted assassinations and kidnappings "across multiple jurisdictions," said the US Treasury Department in a statement.

It aims to silence the Iranian regime's perceived critics, said the US Treasury, adding that the network has also plotted operations in America.

Among the five individuals named is Naji Ibrahim Sharifi-Zindashti, whom the Treasury identified as a narcotics trafficker.

Others include members of his family, and an MOIS officer overseeing some of his operations, said the Treasury.

"Zindashti's network has been linked to murders in several countries," including the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Turkey, the Treasury statement added.

The United Kingdom said in a separate notice that it would "sanction seven individuals and one organisation, including senior Iranian officials and members of organised criminal gangs who collaborate with the regime."

They include members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Unit 840, over reported "plots to assassinate two television presenters from news channel Iran International on UK soil," said the British announcement.

"The Iranian regime and the criminal gangs who operate on its behalf pose an unacceptable threat to the UK's security," according to a statement by British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

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

US Treasury Under Secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Brian Nelson, added: "The Iranian regime's continued efforts to target dissidents and activists demonstrate the regime's deep insecurity and attempt to expand Iran's domestic repression internationally."


AFP


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