EU leaders tell Iran to negotiate or face more pain
Reuters / Justyna Pawlak

The European Union will further tighten economic sanctions if Iran does not curb its nuclear activities, EU leaders said on Friday, urging Tehran to engage in "meaningful" negotiations.

Europe imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic this week, targeting trade, energy and shipping, as part of a Western push to force Iran to make concessions over the nuclear work.

In a statement after a regular two-day summit, EU leaders said Iran was in "flagrant violation" of nuclear non-proliferation rules but that if it moved to comply the sanctions could be lifted.

"The Iranian regime can act responsibly and bring sanctions to an end," they said. "But as long as it does not do so, the EU remains determined to increase, in close coordination with international partners, pressure on Iran."

Sanctions have made it harder for Iran to sell and transport its oil and have likely contributed to a crash in the currency and soaring inflation, but Tehran has shown no sign of backing down on the nuclear work which it says is its sovereign right.

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