The European Union today adopts an unprecedented package of sanctions against Iran, targeting in particular its key energy sector.
The sanctions go a lot further than the UN measures voted in June, and include a tightening of checks of freight and port controls. The objective is to punish Iran for refusing to negotiate on its nuclear programme and try to bring it back to the talks table by September, when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends.
Sunday saw the Turkish-Brazilian mediation resume with talks with Iran in Istanbul. Iran’s foreign minister said his country will be ready to resume talks in September, and said technical discussions could resume right away.
“We can immediately start negotiations for the details of exchanging of fuel. I mean exchanging of low enriched uranium, 3.5 percent uranium with 20 percent uranium, which would be given from the other side,” said Manouchehr Mottaki.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is only for the generation of electricity and other peaceful uses. However, many fear their ultimate aim is to develop nuclear weapons.
EU to impose tougher Iran sanctions