European Union members consider possible sanctions against Iran
BRUSSELS (WJC)–European Union foreign ministers have discussed possible responses to Iran’s continued nuclear program including new sanctions against Tehran. “We are moving very strongly toward sanctions,” Finland’s Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb told reporters in Brussels. “We will start with UN sanctions, and if that does not work, we will go to EU sanctions.” France’s minister for Europe, Pierre Lellouche, told his colleagues that Europe had to impose tougher sanctions. “Talks with Iran have continued for six years now and all of the West’s proposals have been rejected,” AFP quoted him as saying. “We hope Europe will work together to implement sanctions.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also voiced support for a tougher line on Iran. “Time is running out for Tehran,” she said, warning that new sanctions would be a “tragedy for the Iranian people.”
The EU has already targeted Iran with a series of sanctions, ranging from asset freezes on banks and key figures linked to the nuclear program to embargoes on exports of arms and equipment. However, the measures have not stopped Iran’s nuclear program, which led some to question if further sanctions would be effective. “Our aim is to get the Iranians to the negotiating table and have a political solution, and if there are any sanctions which can reinforce that possibility, I am ready to look at them,” Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that following diplomatic pressure from Israel a German construction company canceled a big contract to renovate the Bander Abbas Port in Iran, from which weapons were recently shipped to Lebanon. The weapons ship was intercepted by the Israeli Navy on the Mediterranean Sea.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress