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New EU sanctions target sources of finance for Iranian nuclear program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Given the EU’s serious and deepening concerns over the Iranian nuclear program, the Council today broadened the EU’s restrictive measures against that country.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Given the EU’s serious and deepening concerns over the Iranian nuclear program, the Council today broadened the EU’s restrictive measures against that country. Today’s decisions target the sources of finance for the nuclear program, complementing already existing sanctions.

The Council banned imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. The prohibition concerns import, purchase and transport of such products as well as related finance and insurance. Already concluded contracts can still be executed until July 1, 2012. A review of the measures relating to oil and petroleum products will take place before May 1, 2012.

In addition, the Council outlawed imports of petrochemical products from Iran into the EU as well as the export of key equipment and technology for this sector to Iran. New investment in petrochemical companies in Iran as well as joint ventures with such enterprises are also no more allowed.

The Council also froze the assets of the Iranian central bank within the EU, while ensuring that legitimate trade can continue under strict conditions.

Trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Iranian public bodies and the central bank will no more be permitted, nor will the delivery of Iranian-denominated banknotes and coinage to the Iranian central bank. A number of additional sensitive dual-use goods may no more be sold to Iran.

Finally, the Council subjected three more persons to an asset freeze and a visa ban. It also froze the assets of eight further entities.

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