Today the EU adopted the regulation that translates Iran sanctions agreed by the Foreign Affairs Council in October into law. These include a prohibition on financial transactions with Iranian financial institutions and further trade restrictions in key sectors like energy and metals, from which Iran derives funds and materials for its proliferation activities. The UK played a leading role in the negotiation of the regulation.
Commenting today, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, said:
“The adoption of a tough EU regulation on Iran sanctions should send a clear message to the Iranian Government that the pressure will only increase until it takes concrete actions to address the international community’s serious concerns about its nuclear programme. Iran continues to enrich uranium on a scale that has no plausible civilian justification, in contravention of international law. The EU’s move follows the decision taken yesterday by the United Nations Security Council to designate two Iranian companies caught red-handed trying to supply arms to the brutal Syrian regime. This continued support for Assad’s efforts to suppress the people of Syria undermines peace and security in the Middle East, and shows the contempt with which the Iranian authorities treat international law and the concerns of the international community.
“The E3+3 wants to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran on the nuclear issue, but Iran needs to co-operate. We hope that political talks with Iran can begin again in the New Year, based on mutual respect, but clear in the need for an urgent solution to this issue. Time for a diplomatic solution is not open-ended. Iran’s leaders have a clear choice: work with the international community on a diplomatic agreement which addresses our concerns and which would bring significant benefits to Iran. Or continue on the path of mistrust, damaging the Iranian economy and putting the peace and security of the region at risk.
“Iran’s leaders know that sanctions are having a significant impact. They should be in no doubt that the international community will keep up the pressure until they are ready to negotiate in good faith and take the concrete steps needed to convince the international community that they are not building a nuclear weapon.”
Notes to editors
- Humanitarian payments and goods, including food and medicines, will remain exempt from EU and UK sanctions. The UK will continue to prioritise the licensing of transactions for food and medicines.