Following concerns from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) regarding Iran, and reports that the country is continuing to develop a nuclear programme, UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced new financial restrictions against Iranian financial institutions.
Starting from 15.00 on Monday, 21 November, UK financial and credit institutions must sever all business relationships and transactions with Iranian banks; this includes the Central Bank of Iran.
The Government made the announcement because it says that the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran would “pose a significant risk to the national interests of the UK and countries across the region”. The Government also state that “Iranian banks play a crucial role in providing financial services to individuals and entities within Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, as companies carrying out proliferation activities require banking services”.
Commenting in a statement which was issued on Monday, the Chancellor, George Osborne, said:
“I have today taken action to impose further financial restrictions against Iran. This follows the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report uncovering evidence of Iran’s development of nuclear weapons technology. It is also a response to calls from the Financial Action Task Force for countries to strengthen safeguards to protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks emanating from Iran.
“We believe that the Iranian regime’s actions pose a significant threat to the UK’s national security and the international community. Today’s announcement is a further step to preventing the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
The IAEA adopted a resolution on 17 November regarding Iran. The resolution raised “increasing concern” over the Iranian nuclear programme and the IAEA urge Iran to “intensify dialogue”.
The resolution also calls on Iran to fulfil “its obligations under relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, and to meet the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors”.