Monday, June 23, 2008

EU states agree new sanctions on Iran

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states agreed on Monday to impose new sanctions against Iran, including an asset freeze on its biggest bank, over its refusal to meet demands to curb its nuclear program.

However the EU said the door remained open to possible talks over an international package of incentives for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment delivered to Tehran earlier this month by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The new sanctions, coordinated with the United States at a summit earlier this month, will target businesses and individuals that the West alleges are linked to Iranian nuclear and ballistic programs, an EU official said.

"The individuals will be banned from entering the EU and the entities will banned from operating in the EU," said the official, who wanted to remain anonymous, after EU ministers rubber-stamped the widely flagged measures at a meeting in Luxembourg.

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