News / Europe

EU Broadens Economic Sanctions Against Iran

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at a European Union foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, December 1, 2011
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives at a European Union foreign ministers meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, December 1, 2011
Lisa Bryant

European Union foreign ministers agreed to broaden sanctions against Iran Thursday and condemned this week's mob attack on Britain's embassy in Tehran. EU member states are divided about extending the sanctions to Iran's oil sector.

The European Union added dozens of Iranian officials and companies to its blacklist and EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Thursday considered other sanctions against Iran.  

At a news conference, European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also read out a statement condemning the assault by Iranian protesters against Britain's embassy in Tehran on Tuesday.  "The council is outraged by the attack on the British embassy in Tehran and utterly condemns it.  It also deplores the decision to expel the British ambassador from Tehran. The council considers these actions against the UK as actions against the European Union as a whole," she said.

Ashton said EU members are considering further sanctions against Tehran, but exactly what form they will take remains unclear. European officials stress the sanctions are not in retaliation for the embassy attack, but rather respond to a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency which warned of a possible "military dimension" to Iran's nuclear program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes only.

"This is part of our ongoing concern about the report form the IAEA we discussed last time, and the desire for us to see Iran take seriously the international community's call for it to respect its obligations and to move away from its pursuit of nuclear weapons technology," she said.

Photo Gallery: Attack on British Embassy in Tehran, Iran

Iran's already tense ties with the international community have further deteriorated since the IAEA's latest report and the embassy attack.  Britain is closing its embassy in Tehran and Iran's embassy in London.  France, Germany and the Netherlands have also withdrawn their envoys from Tehran. Norway said it was closing its embassy as a precaution.

In remarks before the Brussels meeting, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he would be pushing for sanctions against Iranian financial institutions,  measures which Britain, the United States and Canada have already agreed on. "So the financial sector,  following that up within the European Union and focusing on the financial sector is the prime focus of what I'm putting forward to my colleagues," he said.

But EU countries are divided over whether to slap sanctions against Iran's oil sector, with Greece objecting to such a move. Sweden has also questioned the effectiveness of such energy sanctions. EU ministers also extended sanctions against Syrian individuals and businesses during the Brussels meeting.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid