New EU sanctions go after Iran’s trade, transport, banks
BRUSSELS — The European Union and Canada on Monday adopted new sanctions against Iran, targeting the country’s foreign trade, banking and energy sectors.
The moves are the latest in a series of measures taken by the international community in an effort to halt Iran’s nuclear program. The EU’s measures, which leaders agreed to in principle in June, also blacklist Iran’s shipping and air cargo companies.
In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denounced the decision.
“Moving toward confrontational measures and supporting unilateral actions and damaging the atmosphere are not considered by us to be a good use of the opportunity,” Mehmanparast said, according to the state TV network’s website.
Iran denies that it is working on a nuclear weapon, saying its program is solely for peaceful purposes such as energy generation.
EU foreign ministers in Brussels called the restrictions a “comprehensive and robust package” focused on trade, financial services, energy, and transport, with visa bans and asset freezes for Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines.
The ministers also backed a call to Tehran to resume meaningful negotiations. The EU’s new measures will come into force in a few weeks, after they are published in the bloc’s official gazette, officials said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner welcomed the announcements. The restrictions come on top of a fourth round of sanctions imposed last month by the U.N. Security Council and are similar to ones adopted by the U.S.