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European Union: Renewed Sanctions Against Iran

(Aug. 9, 2010) In July 2010, the European Union adopted a Council Decision to expand its existing sanctions regime against Iran. In the last few years, the EU has put in place a series of restrictions against Iran, either by implementation of resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council or as unilateral measures. The new initiative follows the June 17, 2010, statement of the European Council, which expressed its grave concern that Iran's nuclear program might not be used for peaceful purposes. The Council Decision is also in line with the June 9, 2010, Resolution 1929 of the Security Council, which imposed new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. The Resolution urged U.N. members to comply fully with the new restrictions on Iran. (Leigh Phillips, EU Iran Sanctions “Most far- Reaching Ever Agreed,” EU OBSERVER (July 23, 2010),

Some of the new key measures envisaged in the Council Decision, which, according to an EU diplomat impose the most comprehensive sanctions against any country ever adopted, include:

· expansion of the list of designated parties with whom any kind of association is banned;

· prohibition on the provision of insurance;

· increased restrictions on and notifications needed for transfers of funds to and from Iran;

· restrictions on the supply of or traffic in technology and equipment to be used in certain oil and gas fields and prohibition of investment in such fields;

· expansion of the list of goods and technology whose supply to Iran is either subject to prior authorization or is completely banned; and

· new visa restrictions. (Id.)

EU Members are required to comply with the new restrictive measures as of September 2010. The expanded list of parties with whom any kind of association is prohibited has immediate effect.

The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country holds the current EU Presidency, emphasized that the EU and its High Representative of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, in many instances have shown to the Iranian government their willingness to negotiate and that the sanctions “send a very clear message to the Iranian authorities.” (The EU Approves New Sanctions Against Iran, European Union @ United Nations website (June 17, 2010),