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LONDON: The British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is failing to sanction Iranians linked to the regime who are responsible for arresting and intimidating British nationals, MPs have said.

Labour MP Chris Bryant, a member of the foreign affairs select committee, said that those responsible for the arrest of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe have not faced sanctions from the FCDO despite being named in September.

Bryant listed broadcaster Ameneh Sadat Zabihpour and Hossein Taeb, who has led the intelligence wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, among a group of 10 Iranians who should face sanctions for hostage taking and intimidation.

He told the British Parliament’s House of Commons that Zabihpour “is known for eliciting false confessions from prisoners in front of camera during interrogations,” adding that the broadcaster was present at the airport just before Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released.

Bryant said the state TV journalist was seen filming Zaghari-Ratcliffe as Iranian officials attempted to force a confession from her. 

Taeb ran the political prisoner department at Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, where the mass arrests and torture of hundreds of prisoners had taken place, The Guardian reported.

Bryant said that Taeb was the driving force behind hostage operations within the IRGC.

He added that Taeb had blocked the release of hundreds of dual nationals who had been kept confined in Iran and was responsible for extracting Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s false confession. 

Bryant said: “If the UK had taken action against these individuals in September or in December, they may have thought twice about abusing British hostages. Government inaction always has a price.”

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