The European Union passed more sanctions against Iran today, Monday, at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
All transactions between European and Iranian banks are now under sanctions, and European countries are now banned from exporting to Iran industrial products such as graphite, iron, industrial software and goods linked to shipping.
More companies involved in Iran’s oil and gas industry, along with individuals linked to them, will face sanctions and travel restrictions, according to the latest EU announcement.
The EU has insisted that Iran must stop its uranium enrichment program as it could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.
Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but recently has shown some willingness to stop enriching uranium so long as fuel for its research reactor can be provided from abroad.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has expressed optimism that negotiations with the Islamic Republic could resume “very soon.”
Reuters quoted Ashton as saying: “I absolutely do think there is room for negotiations… I hope we will be able to make progress very soon.”
The Iranian economy is going through a tumultuous period with a tumbling national currency and growing inflation.