Britain, France and Germany have called for a new round of sanctions on Iran in connection with the country’s nuclear program.
Reuters reports that Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, said on September 7, on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers meeting in Cyprus, that Iran’s failure to heed international demands to reduce its nuclear activities means that in the coming weeks, the EU should begin discussing a new round of sanctions.
Maintaining that the outcome of the last three rounds of nuclear negotiations had been “disappointing”, Westerwelle told Reuters: “If they will not come back to the table, then probably the next round is necessary. This is not something for next year; we are talking about next weeks.”
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said that the diplomatic route has reached an impasse and in the coming days they will discuss strengthening sanctions on Iran.
Possible new measures according to Fabius could target Iran’s finance, trade and oil sectors.
The European Union imposed an embargo on Iranian oil on July 1, 2012, and sanctions were set against Iran’s financial sector, banning any dealings with Iran’s Central Bank.
Without giving any specific details, British Foreign Minister William Hague also said the EU needs to increase pressure on Iran and ratchet up the existing sanctions.
The EU foreign minister meeting in Cyprus was set up to discuss Iran’s nuclear program and the Syrian crisis, but no concrete decisions were expected.
EU sanctions on Iran have forced a significant reduction in Iran’s oil exports. EU companies have also stopped extending insurance to Iranian oil shipments, which has also hampered Iran’s oil exports.