US, UK impose new sanctions on Iran
Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, George Osborne (file photo)
Britain the United States have imposed new sanctions on Iran’s banking system and energy sector after the UN nuclear agency’s recent report on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom George Osborne said on Monday that the White Hall was terminating all contact between the UK’s financial system and the entire Iranian banking system, AFP reported.
Speaking through a statement, he said, “All UK credit and financial institutions are required to cease business relationships and transactions with all Iranian banks, including the Central Bank of Iran.”
Osborne added that Tehran’s activities “pose a significant risk to the national interests of the UK and countries across the region.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, circulated among the 35 members of the agency’s Board of Governors on November 8, accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program.
Iran has dismissed the report as “unbalanced, unprofessional, and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure mostly by the United States.”
As a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the IAEA, Tehran has stood by its right to develop and acquire nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
Iran has been the target of several rounds of sanctions by the West since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Washington-imposed sanctions targeted Iran’s oil and petrochemicals industry and the Iranian companies supplying Tehran’s nuclear program.
The US official added that “financial institutions around the world should think hard about the risks of doing business with Iran.”
The new unilateral measures came after a failed attempt by the US and its allies to take Iran’s case to the UN Security Council.