Brussels: European Union was set on Monday to formally adopt a package of new sanctions against Iran, targeting the country`s foreign trade, banking and energy sectors.
The move, which was agreed to in principle by EU leaders in June, is the latest in a series of measures taken by the international community in an effort to halt Iran`s nuclear program.
EU foreign ministers are expected "to adopt a decision on a package of restrictive measures to be imposed on Iran in the areas of trade, financial services, energy and transport, and also a regulation extending the list of entities and individuals subject to an assets ban," an EU statement said.
The new European restrictions will come on top of a fourth round of sanctions imposed last month by the UN Security Council to curtail Iran`s nuclear program over fears it is developing weapons. The council endorsed those sanctions after Iran rebuffed a plan to suspend uranium enrichment and swap its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium for fuel rods.
They new restrictions are similar to measures adopted by the Obama administration, which has imposed penalties against additional individuals and institutions it says are helping Iran develop its nuclear and missile programs, and evade international sanctions.
EU foreign ministers meeting on Monday also are expected reaffirm the bloc`s invitation to Tehran to hold talks on the issue, officials said.
Iran denies that it is working on a nuclear weapon, saying its program is only intended solely for peaceful purposes such as energy-generation, and that it has the right to enrich uranium under the international nonproliferation treaty.