France is calling on the EU to follow the US and harden its stance on Iran after the country tested a long-range missile on Monday.
Iran also warned the US not to order one its aircraft carriers back to the Persian Gulf, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. It did not name the vessel but the carrier the USS John C Stennis was seen in the Arabian Sea last week.
The senior military commander did not say exactly what Iran would do should the ship return, but he claimed that 10-days of navy drills in the Gulf have proved that Iran is completely in control of the Straits of Hormuz.
The Iranians have threatened to close them should any sanctions affect their oil exports.
The prospect of new sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme resulted in queues at banks as people scrambled to buy dollars to protect their savings from a currency fall.
The French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppé, says it is time to take more action against Iran: “Iran is continuing its nuclear armament. There is no doubt about this. The last report from the International Atomic Energy Agency was quite clear on this point. Two concrete proposals on that front, the first being to freeze the Iranian Central Bank assets, and secondly, an embargo on Iranian oil exports.”
Iran still insists that its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes – the generation of electricity for domestic supply.