Britain, EU to intensify pressure on Iran

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2011 3:33 AM
Britain, EU to intensify pressure on Iran

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers aim to exert pressure on Iran and deepen its economic isolation, but the nature of new sanctions is still being discussed, Britain and the EU's foreign policy chief said on Thursday.

"I hope we will agree today additional measures that will be an intensification of the economic pressure on Iran, peaceful legitimate economic pressure, particularly to increase the isolation of the Iranian financial sector," British Foreign Minister William Hague said, two days after protesters stormed the British Embassy in Tehran.

Hague also blamed the Iranian government for assisting the Syrian government in trying to suppress protests in Syria.

European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, arriving just after Hague for a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels, said there was support for new sanctions.

"On Iran it's a case of adding more," Ashton said. "You know we've been working to, if you like ratchet up the sanctions," she said. "We're talking about a range of sanctions. It will be decided today exactly what those sanctions should be."

(Reporting By Robin Emmott and Ben Deighton)