EU Imposes Oil Sanctions

In an attempt to deflect Tehran‘s nuclear development program the European Union has today joined the United States in a new round of measures and imposed sanctions on Iran‘s oil imports to Europe. It however has not imposed a complete ban on oil imports.

In response to this a Iranian politician responded by renewing a threat to blockade the Strait of Hormuz, which is a oil export route vital to the global economy, and another said Tehran will cut off it’s crude shipments to the EU immediately which would greatly affect ailing European economies such as Greece, Italy, which depend heavily on Iranian oil.

All this follows after a U.S. aircraft carrier, accompanied by French and British warships, made a symbolically loaded voyage into the Gulf, defying Iranian hostility,

The expected EU sanctions are likely to prove angering to Iran in an already tense region.

It is believed by some political analysts and observers, that Iran, which denies accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons could be in a position to make them next year.  Israel has also warned it could use force to prevent that Iran from any such development program

This row over Tehran’s plans is an increasingly pressing for world leaders, not least U.S. President Barack Obama as he is campaigning for a re-election in November. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has voiced skepticism about the chances of Iran being persuaded by non-military tactics, called the EU sanctions a “step in the right direction” but said Iran was still developing atomic weapons.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said of the new sanctions: “I want the pressure of these sanctions to result in negotiations … I want to see Iran come back to the table and either pick up all the ideas that we left on the table … last year … or to come forward with its own ideas.”

Iran has said lately that it is willing to hold talks with Western powers, though there have been mixed signals on whether conditions imposed by either side make new negotiations likely.

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