EU widens sanctions against Iran, Syria

European Union foreign ministers announced on October 15 2012 that the bloc was increasing sanctions against Iran because of Teheran’s controversial nuclear programme, while the EU also lengthened the list of measures against the Assad regime in Syria, adding an assets freeze and travel ban on a further 28 Syrian individuals and two firms

On Iran, the foreign ministers reiterated “serious and deepening concerns overIran’s nuclear programme and the urgent need forIranto comply with all its international obligations, including full implementation by Iran of UNSC and IAEA Board of Governors’ Resolutions.”

The sanctions on Iran agreed to by EU foreign ministers affect finance and trade, curbing EU business with Iran’s banks and companies dealings with oil and gas imports. The EU is expected to release a list of blacklisted companies on October 16, the Voice of America said. The ban includes asset freezes and travel bans.

Iran is already facing a host of international sanctions. Iran says its nuclear programme has peaceful aims. But Western nations fear Iran is possibly developing a nuclear weapon. Negotiations between Iran and the West and the United Nations have failed to produce a breakthrough, VOA said.

The EU approved today additional restrictive measures against Syria, the foreign ministers said.

“The EU stands ready to engage with those seriously committed to a genuine democratic transition. The EU will continue its policy of imposing additional measures targeting the regime, not the civilian population, as long as repression continues. The EU will also continue to urge the international community to join its efforts, in taking steps to apply and enforce restrictive measures on the Syrian regime and its supporters.

The statement by the EU foreign ministers said that in this context, the EU welcomes the fourth meeting of the International Group on Sanctions which was held inThe Hagueon September 20.

“It calls on all Syrians to dissociate themselves from the repressive policy of the regime in order to facilitate a political transition.”

The sanctions announced on October 15 are the 19th set since severe violence broke out in Syria in March 2011. With the new names on the list, the EU is now applying sanctions against 181 people and 54 companies.

(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)



The Sofia Globe staff

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