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EU piles pressure on Iranian firms

[ 2011-12-02 15:55]     字号 [] [] []  
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EU foreign ministers piled pressure on Iran over its contested nuclear program on Thursday, slapping sanctions on an extra 180 firms and individuals and threatening to hit out at its vital oil sector.

Expressing "deepening concerns" on the nature of the nuclear program, the 27 European Union foreign ministers urged the bloc to "extend the scope" of current sanctions in order to strike at Teheran's financial heart.

A statement said the ministers agreed to examine measures in particular affecting the financial system in the transport and energy sector.

Outraged by Tuesday's storming of the British embassy in Teheran, the ministers also said they considered "these actions against the UK as actions against the European Union as a whole".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on joining the talks that he would urge his counterparts to squeeze Iran for both its nuclear activities and mounting human rights violations.

"I hope we will agree today additional measures that will be an intensification of the economic pressure on Iran, peaceful legitimate economic pressure particularly to increase the isolation of the Iranian financial sector," he said.

Though German counterpart Guido Westerwelle too favored moves "to dry up Iran's financial sources", the crisis-hit EU is deeply split over slapping an oil embargo on Iran as well as over calls by some, including Britain, to agree on an assets freeze on Iran's central bank.

The new sanctions follow the publication last month of a new report on Iran's contested nuclear activity by the International Atomic Energy Agency.


1. How many extra firms were slapped with sanctions?

2. How many European Union foreign ministers expressed concern?

3. When was the British embassy in Teheran stormed?


1. 180

2. 27

3. Tuesday

(中国日报网英语点津 Rosy 编辑)

EU piles pressure on Iranian firms

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EU piles pressure on Iranian firms

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.