EU sharply expands sanctions against Iran

Reuters News
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Posted: May 23, 2011 5:08 AM
EU sharply expands sanctions against Iran

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union significantly expanded its sanctions against Iran on Monday, reflecting mounting frustration over a lack of progress in nuclear talks with Tehran, EU diplomats said.

EU foreign ministers agreed at a meeting in Brussels to add about 100 new entities to a list of companies and people affected by EU sanctions, such as asset freezes.

"It's been adopted," one EU diplomat said.

World powers say they suspect Iran is trying to develop atomic weapons under the cover of its declared civilian nuclear energy program, but Tehran says it needs nuclear power to meet a growing domestic demand for electricity.

Talks with Iran on suspending the nuclear program in return for trade and technology have ground to a halt.

(Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Rex Merrifield)