EU mulls imposing Iran sanction within weeks

Experts are discussing options for new measures to increase pressure on Tehran; West would prefer UNSC to take action but Russia and China are opposed.

November 10, 2011 20:37
3 minute read.

eu flag 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BRUSSELS - The European Union may approve fresh sanctions against Iran within weeks, after a UN agency said Tehran had worked to design nuclear bombs, EU diplomats said on Thursday.

Iran denies trying to build atom bombs and its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said any US or Israeli attack on its nuclear sites would be met with "iron fists."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'China must stop trying to buy time on Iran sanctions'
In confronting Iran, experts say all roads go through China

The United States and Israel have refused to rule out any option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

Diplomats in Brussels said preliminary discussions among EU capitals on new measures had begun and plans may be ready for EU foreign ministers in Brussels to approve on 1 December.

"Experts are discussing a number of options on the table but it is difficult to foresee the outcome of the debate," one EU diplomat said. Another said he expected a formal decision to be reached on 1 December.

EU sanctions would be a significant part of Western efforts to ratchet up pressure on Tehran after the UN nuclear watchdog's report this week that laid bare a trove of intelligence suggesting Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

Western governments would prefer UN Security Council measures against Tehran, but Russia and China are opposed.


China reiterated its view that sanctions would not work.

"We always believe that dialogue and cooperation is the right way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. Sanctions cannot fundamentally solve the issue," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, calling for more diplomacy.

Tehran, which says its nuclear programme is for producing electricity and other peaceful purposes, said on Wednesday it remains ready for negotiations with world powers on the issue.

Western diplomats say only sanctions against Iran's energy sector could exert serious pressure on Tehran, but such steps would also hurt a global economy hit by Europe's debt crisis.

Some EU governments are wary of inflicting economic pain on the Iranian people or of closing potential communication channels by targeting Iranian officials. Others fret about the damage oil sanctions could do to their own economic interests.

Germany, Britain and France, along with the United States, Russia and China, form a group of powers negotiating with Iran. The last round of talks stalled at the start of this year.

Iran already faces a wide range of UN sanctions, as well as some imposed unilaterally by the United States and the EU.

Tension over Iran's nuclear program has increased since Tuesday when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a bomb and may still be conducting secret research to that end.

Media speculation about possible US or Israeli military action has also intensified since the IAEA report, denounced by Iran as "unbalanced" and "politically motivated".

Khamenei said Iran would retaliate against any attack by its foes, but had no intention of starting a "bloody war".

"Our enemies, particularly the Zionist regime (Israel), America and its allies, should know that any kind of threat and attack or even thinking about any (military) action will be firmly responded to," Khamenei said on state television.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations