UK, U.S. and Canada step up travel curbs on Iran government

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 08, 2011 7:38 AM
UK, U.S. and Canada step up travel curbs on Iran government

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain, the United States and Canada are increasing travel curbs on members of the Iranian government over Iran's disputed nuclear program, Britain's Foreign Office said in a statement.

"The UK is working closely with its partners to prevent a wide range of individuals connected with Iran's nuclear enrichment and weaponization programs from entering our countries," Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

"These include scientists, engineers and those procuring components," he added.

Hague said the measures were being coordinated with partners such as the United States and Canada.

"Iran continues to seek equipment and components from around the world for its illicit nuclear program," Hague added.

Britain also plans to bar Iranians it believes are guilty of human rights abuses. It said more than 50 individuals would be targeted but it did not plan to name them.

"We are also taking action against more Iranians who have committed serious human rights abuses, including government ministers, members of the judiciary, prison officials and others associated with the Iranian government's brutal crackdown on its people since the disputed elections of 2009," he added.

Western powers suspect Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability, while Tehran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity.

Britain believes there is some evidence that international sanctions have slowed Iran's nuclear program, but remains concerned about its activities and its support for repression in Syria.

(Reporting by Keith Weir; Editing by Jon Hemming)