EU moves closer to substantial new Iran sanctions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Senior European Union diplomats gave their preliminary approval to new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program on Friday, including major measures against the Islamic Republic's banking sector and industry, an EU diplomat said on Friday.

The new sanctions will have to be formally approved on Monday at an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg before coming to effect.

They include a ban on financial transactions, with some exceptions; a ban on imports of natural gas from Iran into the European Union; and a ban on exports of metals to Iran. EU states will also be banned from extending short-term guarantees for trade with Iran.

"Coreper (a committee of EU ambassadors) agreed the sanctions package on (the) Iranian nuclear programme," said the diplomat in a message to Reuters.

recommended by Fred