Thursday

19th Oct 2017

France speaks out for EU sanctions on Iran

  • Hollande also called for UN protection of "safe zones" for rebels in Syria and for aid to African troops fighting Islamists in Mali (Photo: elysee.fr)

The French leader and French foreign minister have spoken out in favour of new EU sanctions against Iran.

French President Francois Hollande told press after his first-ever speech at the UN's annual meeting in New York, that Iran is "continuing its programme of [uranium] enrichment" and that "France cannot accept this action which threatens regional security. With our European partners, we are, therefore, ready to impose new sanctions."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added that the new measures are not designed "to punish the Iranian population, but to bring them [the Iranian government] back to the negotiating table."

Earlier on during his UN speech, he also accused Iran of helping the Syrian government to butcher civilians.

"It is clear that we have all the proof we need that Iran is intervening by human and material means in Syria, and this is unacceptable," Hollande noted.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius told Reuters in the margins of the UN event that the new sanctions will be "on the financial and trade side."

Back in Brussels, the French press agency AFP cited an anonymous EU diplomat as saying the UK wants to see a "full freeze on Iran's central bank, on all its financial transactions" and "a wide sectoral ban on shipping."

AFP's contacts added that "most member states are largely supportive" of the plan, but that France itself, Germany, Spain and Sweden want to stop short of a full-blown trade embargo on the Middle East power.

The previous round of EU sanctions, imposed on 1 July, included an oil ban and forbade transactions with the Iranian central bank. But the bank ban allowed EU countries to do business with it if it relates to trade in other areas, such as food or textiles.

For its part, Iran believes it has shown good faith by resuming international talks on the nuclear issue earlier this year.

It also says the UN's Vienna-based non-proliferation watchdog, the IAEA, has not put forward any evidence that its nuclear enrichment work is aimed at making weapons.

EU contacts previously told EUobserver that the international talks, which are chaired by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, have begun addressing some key issues, such as the closure of one enrichment facility in Fordow. But they added that Iran is wasting time on debating the format of the talks themselves. "They are masters of obfuscation," one source said.

US President Barack Obama in his UN address also on Tuesday noted that the Iranian programme could lead to war.

He said that "a nuclear armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained" and that the US would "do what it must" to stop it from getting the bomb.

The EU sanctions decision is due on 15 October.

EU targets Iran's Internet snoops

EU countries have banned the sale of Internet-snooping technology to Iran and blacklisted the country's top cyber-censors.

Question marks over EU sanctions on Iran

Greece is temporarily blocking an EU gas embargo on Iran. But the big question is: are EU sanctions hurting or helping Iranian leader Ali Khamenei?

News in Brief

  1. Madrid eyes early elections as solution to Catalan crisis
  2. Merkel starts coalition talks to form government by December
  3. Iceland confirms long-standing EU opposition, poll shows
  4. EU summit moved to previous building after fumes scare
  5. Catalonia will 'not back down'
  6. New toxic incident in EU building ahead of summit
  7. Murdered Malta journalist's family invited to Parliament
  8. EU food safety chief denies keeping studies 'secret'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  2. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  6. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  7. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  8. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  9. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  10. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  12. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year

Latest News

  1. EU okays Privacy Shield's first year
  2. EU seeks to decrypt messages in new anti-terror plan
  3. EU agencies defend research ahead of glyphosate vote
  4. Spain points at elections as exit to Catalan crisis
  5. How EU can ensure Daphne Caruana Galizia's legacy survives
  6. Juncker dinner to warm up relations with eastern EU
  7. Court hearing in MEPs 'private' expenses battle
  8. The unbearable lightness of leadership