UK, US and Canada step up travel curbs on Iran gov't

Hague: UK working closely with partners to make sure those working on Iranian nuclear program cannot enter our countries.

William Hague (R) 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
William Hague (R) 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
LONDON - Britain, the United States and Canada are increasing travel curbs on members of the Iranian government over Tehran's disputed nuclear program and human rights record, British and US officials said on Friday.
"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.
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"These include scientists, engineers and those procuring components," Hague said, adding 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."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announcing new US visa restrictions, said the move was also aimed at holding Iranian officials accountable for human rights abuses.
"Today's actions are an important reminder to Iran that the international community will continue to hold accountable those officials who commit human rights abuses and suppress the democratic aspirations of fellow citizens," Clinton said in a statement.
US and British officials said more than 50 Iranian officials would be subject to the new restrictions but declined to identify specific people.
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.
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat
Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat