Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

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?

Feature

Spain makes bid for EU anti-pirate HQ

Spanish special forces seized a boat from 'African pirates' as diplomats watched on Monday, in a drill marking Spain's bid to grab the EU's top military mission from the UK.

Focus

Greenland votes with eye on independence

Six out of seven political parties running in Greenland's parliamentary elections on Tuesday are pro-independence, but they disagree on how fast the last ties to Copenhagen should be cut. Increasing dependence on China could be the consequence.

Opinion

How Russian propaganda depicts Europe - should we worry?

Russian domestic television - the only source of foreign news for most Russians - consistently shows Europe over-run by immigrants, beset by terrorist atrocities, and on strike. This has serious consequences.

News in Brief

  1. Far-right attack migrants on Greek island
  2. Merkel defends accepting UN refugees
  3. EU commissioner plans Malta 'money laundering' inspection
  4. Survey: Half of high polluting farms receive CAP subsidies
  5. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  6. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  7. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  8. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  4. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  6. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  7. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  8. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  9. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  10. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  11. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight

Latest News

  1. Juncker delays air quality action due to busy agenda
  2. Spain makes bid for EU anti-pirate HQ
  3. How Russian propaganda depicts Europe - should we worry?
  4. MEPs tell Chinese ambassador of concerns on trade
  5. Greenland votes with eye on independence
  6. EU court delivers blow to anti-abortion activists
  7. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  8. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law