The European Union has brought into force a new round of sanctions against Iran, aimed at further throttling Tehran’s ability to fund a suspected nuclear weapons programme. The Iranian government has repeatedly denied that such a programme exists.
This most recent round of sanctions prevents EU member states from dealing with Iranian banking institutions, shipping companies and other industries. Perhaps most significant is the ban on imports of Iranian natural gas and the provision of storage or transportation for this product.
The earlier round of EU sanctions, which banned imports of Iranian crude oil and gasoline, have taken a significant toll on Iran’s economy, with crude oil exports dropping by 45% and inflation likely to rise as high as 50%. It was hoped that this latest round of sanctions would increase the pressure on Tehran and draw the Iranian government back to the negotiating table.
Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief was quoted as saying “We have always said sanctions are not an end in themselves, but are there to apply pressure on the Iranian authorities to meet their international obligations.”
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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