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Iran summons British ambassador over ‘baseless’ accusations

The file photo shows a view of Iran's Foreign Ministry building in Tehran.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to convey the Islamic Republic’s strong protest to “baseless accusations” leveled by the UK against Tehran.

Simon Shercliff was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the director general of the Western Europe Department on Tuesday, a day after London imposed sanctioned on seven individuals and one organization, claiming that they were targeting "Iranian dissidents" in other countries, following a similar step by the United States.

The Iranian official described the sanctions as “illegal” and condemned London’s accusations as “baseless.”

He also noted that London’s attempts to tarnish the image of Iran were non-constructive, adding that such “destructive actions” towards the Islamic Republic are doomed to failure.

“It is a bitter historical irony that a country which is the founder and supporter of organized terrorist groups, drug trafficking and criminal gangs, seeks to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran and its loyal and honest forces that are at the forefront of the fight against organized crimes,” the Iranian official said.

The British ambassador, for his part, said he will convey Iran’s protest to his respective country.

On Monday, the US and the UK imposed sanctions on a network of people who they claimed targeted what they called Iranian opposition activists under Iran’s orders.

The UK Foreign Office said it would “sanction seven individuals and one organization, including senior Iranian officials” who were involved in threats to kill journalists on British soil and others it said were part of” international criminal gangs” linked to Tehran.

The sanctions come amid soaring tensions in the region. Earlier in the day, US President Joe Biden and UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron claimed that “Iranian-backed groups”, mainly based in Iraq, were responsible for a drone attack on the border of Jordan and Syria on Sunday, which killed at least three US soldiers and wounded 34 others.

Iran’s permanent mission to the UN rejected the accusation, saying the Islamic Republic had no role in the attack.

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