THE TREASURY yesterday ordered all UK financial institutions to stop trading with Iran, in response to growing fears over the Middle Eastern nation’s possible nuclear arsenal.
From 3pm yesterday, all UK credit and financial firms were required to halt transactions with Iranian counterparts and all their subsidiaries, including the Central Bank of Iran, under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008.
The drastic move to sever ties was prompted by a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) watchdog, which raised concerns that Tehran appeared to be designing an atomic bomb.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of a “significant ratcheting-up of pressure” and said there would be sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry, oil and gas industry and financial sector. Canada also promised trade barriers for the petrochemical, oil and gas industries.