Rishi Sunak’s government should impose new sanctions on those involved in the suppression of protests in Iran, Labour has said.
Foreign secretary David Lammy said so-called Magnitsky sanctions – which target human rights violations – should be used against both individuals and organisations involved in the crackdown.
It comes after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (ISRG) said it had arrested seven individuals allegedly involved in the protests with a “direct link” to Britain, including some who have dual nationality.
Tehran has arrested several Iranians with dual nationality in recent years and convicted them of state security offences in closed-door trials.
Mr Lammy said: “The killings and repression being carried out by the Iranian regime against courageous Iranian protesters seeking a better future is appalling. There must be an end to impunity.”
He added: “The UK government urgently needs to put in place new Magnitsky sanctions against individuals and organisations involved in the repression.”
The Labour frontbencher said Iran “must be held accountable for every crime it has committed through an urgent investigation by the UN Human Rights Council”.
The call for “Magnitsky” sanctions, targeting those responsible for human rights violations or corruption, deriving from the case of Sergei Magnitsky – a Russian tax lawyer who uncovered fraud committed by tax officials in the Russian government.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, chair of the foreign affairs select committee, said on Monday that British citizens in Iran should leave immediately because of the number of people being taken hostage.
The senior Tory said: “This is industrialised taking of state hostages. This is what Iran now does. Iran has shown that it will happily arrest anyone with dual citizenship … I would encourage anyone from the west to leave as safely as they can.”
UK diplomats are still seeking clarity from the regime in Tehran about those arrested with a “direct link” to Britain.
The government has introduced a wave of sanctions on Iran in response to its crackdown on the protests that erupted after the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.
Iran’s communications minister Issa Zarepour, a range of law enforcement and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officials involved in the crackdown were placed on a sanctions list, the Foreign Office announced in November.
It is also believed that Iranian-made attack drones are being used by Russia to target Ukraine’s cities and civilian infrastructure.
Earlier this month foreign secretary James Cleverly announced sanctions on senior Iranian figures as he decried a “sordid” alliance between Iran and Russia.
The sanctions focused on Iranian businessmen and military officials involved in the production and supply of military drones used to carry out attacks in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Mr Cleverly tweeted that the UK would “hold the tyrants in Iran to account” as he set out the recent British response to the country’s actions.
Meanwhile, Ms Kearns warned that the economic hit if China invaded Taiwan would be worse than the fallout from the Ukraine conflict.
Britain is not ready for the “catastrophic” economic impact of a Chinese invasion, senior government figures told The Times following Beijing’s move to fly warplanes and sail ships close to the territory at the weekend.
“If we think about the impact of the war in Ukraine on people in Britain that would be nothing compared with any conflict over Taiwan,” the foreign affairs select committee chair told the newspaper.