PARIS Nov 21 (Reuters) – France called for new sanctions on an “unprecedented scale” against Iran on Monday in response to Tehran’s nuclear programme, urging world powers to halt purchases of Iranian oil and freeze its central bank assets.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent letters to the leaders of the United States, Britain, Germany, the European Union, Canada and Japan proposing the new actions after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voiced new concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme last week.
“As Iran steps up its nuclear programme, refuses negotiation and condemns its people to isolation, France advocates new sanctions on an unprecedented scale to convince Iran that it must negotiate,” said a statement from Sarkozy’s office.
“France therefore proposes to the European Union and its member states, the United States, Japan and Canada and other willing countries to take the decision to immediately freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank (and) stop purchases of Iranian oil,” it added.
Iranian Industry Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari warned on Monday that threats from Western countries to tighten sanctions were only harming their own interests. >>>