UK freezes assets of five for alleged Iranian plot


Britain has frozen the assets of five men, including two key suspects in an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States, matching sanctions taken by US authorities. Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain was discussing action with its European Union partners and expected other nations to follow suit with sanctions. The five targeted included Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalised US citizen, who was arrested in September over the plot which Iran has dismissed as a fabricated “comedy show”.
Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian who has been named by the US authorities as a co-plotter, was also included. He is a fugitive and believed to be in Iran.
“The US has designated under their sanctions legislation five individuals. As of today the UK will designate the same five individuals under the Terrorist Asset Freezing Act 2010,” Hague said. “It relates to alleged terrorist activity and the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds force.” “It stops them using UK banks and its financial system,” Hague said. “We are the first country after the US to take this action and we expect to be followed by others.”