Britain sanctions Iran over supply of drones to Russia

Britain's Foreign Secretary James Cleverly walks outside Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, October 18, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday slapped sanctions on three Iranian military figures and a defence manufacturer for supplying Russia with drones to attack civilian and infrastructure targets in Ukraine.

Senior Iranian military officers Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, Seyed Hojjatollah Qureishi and Saeed Aghajani will be subject to an asset freeze and travel ban, Britain's foreign office said in a statement.

The three individuals were "personally responsible" for providing the drones used in strikes in Ukraine, it added.

"Iran’s support for Putin’s brutal and illegal war against Ukraine is deplorable," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said. "This is clear evidence of Iran’s destabilising role in global security."

Russia has launched dozens of "kamikaze" drones on Ukraine on hitting energy infrastructure and killing five people in the capital of Kyiv. Ukraine says they are Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack drones.

Tehran denies supplying the drones to Moscow and the Kremlin on Tuesday denied its forces had used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine. Washington says Iran's denial is a lie.

Britain will subject Shahed Aviation Industries, the Iranian manufacturer of the Shahed drones, to an asset freeze, the foreign office said.

Reporting by William James and Sachin Ravikumar, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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