European Union governments are set to impose their toughest sanctions yet on Iran, backing U.S. efforts to force the clerical regime to halt uranium enrichment as proof it’s not seeking a nuclear weapons capability.
The package includes a ban on investing or selling equipment to Iran’s oil and natural gas industries, restrictions on export-credit guarantees and insurance, and closer monitoring of banks doing business with Iran, Bloomberg reports.
The new sanctions, introduced by the EU and United States, will go further than the UN sanctions, which were softened to secure support of veto-wielding members Russia and China.
The sanctions are also expected to ban exporting to Iran goods that may be used to produce weapons. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on July 15 that Iran's nuclear program was "an issue of national pride for Iranians," which, however, was also being "actively exploited by Iranian authorities in order to achieve their own political goals," RIA Novosti reports.