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EU Ministers Agree to Impose Sanctions Against Iran
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Foreign ministers from all the 27 European Union (EU) member states agreed on Monday in Luxembourg to introduce sanctions against Iran over its nuclear ambitions in line with a UN Security Council resolution, an EU spokeswoman said on Monday.

"The EU goes a little bit tougher than the UN sanctions," said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, without giving details.

"We include more names," she added.

EU foreign ministers, who met in Luxembourg on Monday, also agreed on a blacklist of people and organizations linked to Iran's nuclear industry, based on UN Security Council sanctions passed in December.

The full list of the Iranian persona non grata subject to a travel ban and assets freeze will be published in the official EU gazette on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Foreign ministers also agreed in principle to apply a second UN resolution against Iran, which was passed last month and introduces fresh sanctions against Tehran if it fails to suspend its uranium enrichment activities within 60 days.

The latter resolution, whose details EU ministers will outline at a later date, involves notably restriction on arms sales.

Earlier on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana confirmed that he would meet this week with Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani in Turkey.

Iran rejected on Sunday Western calls for a suspension of its sensitive nuclear activities.

The United States, which accuses Iran of seeking to make nuclear weapons, has never ruled out the option of military action to bring Tehran to heel. Iran insists its nuclear drive is solely for generating energy.

Iran has shown no sign of yielding in the stand-off, saying that its uranium enrichment operations have reached an industrial level and announcing it wishes to install over 50,000 uranium enriching centrifuges at a plant in Natanz.

(Xinhua News Agency April 24, 2007)

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