EU foreign ministers are set to refrain from moving towards extra European penalties against Iran as favored by France due to persistent disagreements among member states. The meeting in Luxembourg on Monday and Tuesday (15 – 16 October) is set to conclude that the EU would “consider what additional measures it might take in order to support the UN process,” a draft statement writes, according to Reuters.
The foreign ministers are expected to stress that they will consult experts on further possibilities to beef up the existing sanctions but keep silent on potentially moving beyond the UN framework to exert the EU’s own pressure against Tehran’s nuclear programs.
The Europe path has been pushed by France with the country’s foreign minister Bernard Kouchner pressing his EU colleagues ahead of the Luxembourg meeting to start “right away” on contemplating “new European measures”.
But while welcomed in the UK, his call sparked opposition particularly in Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria, all important trade partners for Iran.
The EU’s warning will come just shortly ahead of the meeting of senior officials from six world powers in Berlin on Wednesday (17 October).
The permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia, US – plus Germany are due to discuss necessity for passing a new UN resolution on Iran.
Tehran has rejected the calls for a freeze of uranium enrichment which the west has set as the key condition for finding a way out of the diplomatic crisis.
Iran has been using its uranium enrichment activities only for peaceful, energy-related purposes, but the West alleges that the program could be used for developing nuclear weapons. Western powers have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their claims.
Russia and China avoid the third set of sanctions.