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Iran has no assets for potential freeze in Britain: Businessman

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo by Iranian Tasnim news agency shows head of Iran-UK Joint Chamber of Commerce Ali Naqi Khamoushi.

A major Iranian businessman has dismissed Britain’s planned announcement for imposing sanctions and asset freezes on Iran, calling it insignificant due to the fact that Tehran holds almost no tangible assets in the UK that could be affected by such measures.

“As far as I know, Iran has no (major) assets in the UK that the government of this country could confiscate,” said Ali Naqi Khamoushi, who heads the joint chamber of commerce between Iran and Britain, on Sunday.

The remarks came after a Saturday report in the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph suggested that UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt was to announce sanctions and asset freezes on Iran in response to Tehran’s seizure of a UK tanker in the Persian Gulf a day earlier.

The measures could come into effect after a discussion between Hunt and members of the British parliament later this week.

That comes as the UK still refuses to have a supertanker laden with Iranian oil released from its overseas territory of Gibraltar more than two weeks after it was seized by members of the British navy.

Many in Britain blame the government for the flare-up of tensions with Iran, saying London should have released the Iranian tanker to prevent retaliation from Iran.

Khamoushi admitted that London’s planned sanctions on Iran would affect trade between the two countries. But he insisted that the measure would have almost no impact on Iran’s general state of trade with the rest of the world.

“Generally, this issue cannot have such an impact on our country’s exports and imports,” he told the Tasnim news agency.

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