Jan 242012

~ You know Iran is close to a nuke for the EU of all entities to get tough, or as us realists call it, They already have it! ~ JP

The European Union is dialing up the pressure on Iran, saying Monday it will cut off oil imports and freeze assets in an effort to starve the country’s nuclear program of funding.

“Today’s action demonstrates the EU’s growing concern about Iran’s nuclear programme, and our determination to increase peaceful, legitimate pressure on Iran to return to negotiations,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement from Brussels, Belgium.

The sanctions freeze the assets of Iran’s central bank in European Union nations and ban the importation of Iranian oil to those countries. The measures also block European Union countries from exporting petrochemical equipment and technology to Iran, or trading diamonds and precious metals with the Middle Eastern state.

The sanctions are necessary because Iran continues to defy United Nations resolutions regarding its nuclear program, Hague said.

“Iran has it in its power to end sanctions by changing course and addressing the concerns of the international community,” he said.

Saudi prince: Why Iran won’t close Strait of Hormuz

~ BUT they are threatening to

But Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Aragchi, said the measures will only harm the fragile economies of the European Union, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

“Sanctions have proved ineffective in the past and will prove futile in the future, too,” IRNA quoted Aragchi as saying.

The U.S. government took its own punitive action regarding Iran on Monday, with the Treasury Department targeting the nation’s third-largest bank, the state-owned Bank Tejarat, for allegedly working with other Iranian banks and firms subject to sanctions tied to Iran’s nuclear program.

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