E.U. Toughens Iran Sanctions

    European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, second left, speaks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, center, during a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg on Monday Oct. 15, 2012. Britain, Germany and France say they expect the European Union to approve even tougher sanctions on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    Virginia Mayo / AP Photo

    Putting its shiny, new Nobel Peace Prize to good use, the European Union announced plans to toughen sanctions against Iran as a result of the country’s continued efforts to pursue its disputed nuclear program. The new sanctions, which are the most far-reaching since the ban on oil imports in July, ban trade in finance, metal, and natural-gas sectors. They also make business transactions in other areas more difficult, prohibiting “all transactions” between Iranian and European banks. The European Union’s foreign-policy chief said, “We will continue to keep up the pressure,” adding that the sanctions policy “is important because it’s quite clearly having an effect.”

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