The European Union agreed to impose new sanctions on Iran on Monday to increase pressure over its disputed nuclear program, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said, Reuters reported.
"We have decided a further packet of sanctions to increase pressure, so that the negotiations are substantial," he said.
The bloc had been expected to approve new restrictions against Tehran's banking sector, industry and shipping, in one of the toughest pushes against Iran by Europe to date.
The sanctions come amid mounting concerns over the Islamic Republic's military intentions and the failure of diplomacy to solve the atom stand-off.
Earlier on Monday EU foreign ministers imposed new sanctions on Syria and were considering fresh measures against Iran, hours after discussing the two countries with Russia's top diplomat, dpa reported.
The ministers were due to consider more aggressive action against Iran over its nuclear programme, which is purely for peaceful purposes, according to Tehran.
A ban on Iranian natural gas imports is on the table, diplomats said, after the implementation this year of an oil embargo.
Other measures include EU prohibitions on the transport or storage of Iranian oil and further limits on financial transactions with Iran's banks, diplomats said.
Edited by: S. Isayev