European Union Passes New Sanctions Against Iran
New York Times / Stephen Castle

BRUSSELS — The European Union announced that it was imposing its toughest sanctions ever against Iran on Monday, a move that is expected to include a ban on new investment in the country’s eroding oil and gas sector and tighten restrictions on transport and finance.

The European move appears to be among the most powerful of Western efforts to add economic pressure on Iran as it has defied repeated demands to halt its enrichment of uranium. The European Union, with 27 member nations, is Iran’s largest trading partner, taking in a third of its exports and selling it billions of dollars in goods and services.

In a statement the 27 European ministers said they had agreed on “a comprehensive and robust package of measures in the areas of trade, financial services, energy, transport as well as additional designations for visa ban and asset freeze, in particular for Iranian banks, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (I.R.G.C.) and the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (Irisl).”

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