AFP: The United States and the European Union threatened “additional measures” against Iran on Monday over its suspect nuclear activities and reiterated that it must address international concerns.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States and the European Union threatened “additional measures” against Iran on Monday over its suspect nuclear activities and reiterated that it must address international concerns.
Britain, Canada and the United States slapped sanctions last week on Iran’s financial, petrochemical and energy sectors, and the European Union is expected to follow suit after the bloc’s foreign ministers meet on Thursday.
The fresh wave of sanctions follow a report by the UN atomic energy watchdog — dismissed as baseless by Iran — that strongly suggests Tehran is researching nuclear weapons.
After a US-EU summit in Washington on Monday, Washington and Brussels underlined their determination “to work toward a diplomatic solution” to the Iranian nuclear crisis, as speculation grows of a possible Israeli strike.
The US-EU joint statement said they would “consider additional measures given Iran’s continued failure to abide by its international obligations.”
The West accuses Iran of seeking a nuclear bomb, a charge the Islamic republic has repeatedly denied.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hit back on Saturday at the new raft of Western sanctions, saying: “They keep making it more difficult for them to negotiate with us.”
Iran is already subject to four sets of UN sanctions designed to pressure it to halt its uranium enrichment activities, as well as the unilateral Western sanctions.
Russia and China have slammed the latest Western sanctions, calling them illegal and a barrier to resuming stalled negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran’s parliament voted on Sunday to expel the British ambassador in retaliation and warned that other countries could also be punished.
The US-EU joint statement also noted a recent alleged plot by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard to assassinate the Saudi envoy to Washington, and stressed “our determination to ensure the perpetrators and their accomplices are held to account.”