LUXEMBOURG - European Union governments plan to ratchet up sanctions pressure against Iran over its nuclear program on Monday, approving new measures against Tehran's banking sector, industry and shipping.

The new sanctions mark one of the toughest pushes against Iran by Europe to date, and come amid mounting concerns over the Islamic Republic's military intentions and the failure of diplomacy to solve the atom stand-off this year.

Iran insists its nuclear work has only peaceful dimensions and has refused in three rounds of talks since April to scale it back unless major economic sanctions are lifted.

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