Thursday

22nd Oct 2020

Iran warns EU against imposing sanctions

  • "Anyone who adopts a measure against the Iranian nation … should know that Iran will react swiftly" (Photo: Wikipedia)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the EU will "regret" the economic sanctions it is planning to impose on Tehran later today (26 July) at a foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.

"Anyone who adopts a measure against the Iranian nation … should know that Iran will react swiftly," Mr Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on Sunday by Iran's English-language Press TV channel, reports the BBC.

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"Experience shows such a reaction by the Iranian nation will cause you to regret it."

The warning came before the EU is set to sign off what officials have touted as the toughest economic sanctions yet - going much further than the fourth set of UN sanctions agreed in June - in a bid to stop Iran's uranium enrichment programme.

After the UN's move last month, the US and the EU decided to press ahead with further unilateral restrictions. Washington in late June passed legislation banning banks with ties to Iran from the US financial system. It also said it would clamp down on suppliers of gasoline to the Middle Eastern country.

For its part, the EU's measures are to target the country's energy industry as well as its transport, banking and insurance sectors and will hurt not only Iranian firms, but European companies as well.

The EU sanctions are expected to block export to Iran of 'dual-use' items, those that have no explicit nuclear or missile-related purpose, but could be used in such processes. Products that could also be used in the manufacture of biological and chemical weapons will be banned as well.

European firms will no longer be able to sell equipment for use in oil and gas exploration, refining and the production of liquified natural gas while banks will not be able to establish new banking relations with Iranian financial institutions.

While the EU's measures are tougher than had been originally expected when member state leaders agreed the need for further sanctions at a June summit, not all of the bloc's partners are on board.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Turkey is prepared to accept the UN sanctions against Iran but not the further-reaching EU sanctions.

Finance minister Mehmet Simsek told the newspaper that Turkey would promote closer trade links with Iran.

"We will fully implement UN resolutions but when it comes to individual countries' demands for extra sanctions we do not have to," said Mr Simsek.

Ankara was one of two UN Security Council members to oppose tightened UN sanctions last month and has been pursuing a more independent foreign policy in recent months to increase its regional influence as its bid for EU membership proceeds at snail's pace.

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