France says new EU Iran sanctions to target finance, trade
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the next round of European Union sanctions over Iran's nuclear program would focus on the financial industry and trade, Reuters reported.
"(The sanctions will be) on the financial and trade side," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on the sidelines of the meeting.
French President Francois Hollande earlier told the U.N. General Assembly that the EU was ready to impose a new set of sanctions to increase pressure on Iran and force it back to the negotiating table.
Western sanctions on Iran tightened markedly this year with an EU ban on crude oil purchases from Iran and U.S. sanctions targeting banks that deal with Iran's central bank. Those sanctions have not yielded tangible progress toward a diplomatic solution.
Asked about the possibility of stronger sanctions against Iran's central bank, Fabius said: "It could be that. (Those sanctions) are not fully exhausted."
The U.S. government on Monday officially linked Iran's state oil company to the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a determination that enables Washington to apply new sanctions on foreign banks dealing with the company.
Iran's oil ministry has denied the reports that it's subsidiary National Iranian Oil Company is being controlled by the IRGC. Oil Ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad spoke to Mehr news agency, and said that the reports were completely false, as the NIOC works under the Government's wing.
U.N. diplomats say the possibility of further U.N. Security Council sanctions is slim at the moment since Russia and China are opposed to the idea.
Senior foreign ministry officials from the five permanent council members and Germany will meet on Thursday in New York to discuss the situation in Iran.
Edited by: S. Isayev