EU: UN sanctions on Iran imminent
The EU foreign policy chief voices support for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran, saying the punitive measures could be adopted “very rapidly.”
“We are supporting the process of the Security Council on new restrictive measures and I believe a proposal will be adopted very rapidly,” Catherine Ashton told a Monday news conference after a regular meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
She added that the sanctions could be enforced within “the next four to six weeks” but said that no certain date could be given at this stage.
The US and its European allies are pushing for fresh sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, which they claim is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.
Iran has categorically denied the allegations, saying it has the right to peaceful nuclear energy as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
China and Russia are the two veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council which have opposed new sanctions against Iran.
Temporary UNSC members Brazil and Turkey have stepped up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear issue.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will both visit Tehran in mid-May to hold talks on the issue on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 15 (G15).