The UK has said that it is calling on other EU member states to sever links with Iranian financial institutions and transport sectors to put more pressure on Tehran to stop its nuclear programme.

In a statement to MEED from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), a spokesman confirms that the UK severed links to Iranian financial institutions in November 2011.

“The UK supports increasing the pressure on Iran to return to talks through further sanctions as part of our dual track approach,” says the FCO spokesperson.  

The FCO also said that any attempt by Iran to disrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz would be “illegal and would be unsuccessful”. Iran has threatened action over a US-led sanction on the Central Bank of Iran and a recent embargo on its oil.

The UK’s Royal Navy is a member of the 25 nation Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). The Royal Navy’s contribution to the CMF includes a number of mine counter-measure vessels.

“Iran is trying to use rhetoric and bluster to distract attention from the real issue, which is the nature of their nuclear programme,” says the FCO spokesperson.