The European Union has provisionally approved new embargoes against Iran over its nuclear energy program, despite a UN warning against the humanitarian repercussions of the sanctions already in place. The Friday motion will have to be formally ratified on Monday at an EU foreign ministers' session in Luxembourg before coming to effect. According to EU diplomats, the new measures target Tehran’s banking sector, industry and shipping. The new embargoes will oblige European traders to obtain the authorizations of their respective governments prior to financing any permitted business transaction with Iran. The bloc will also ban its member states from selling metals and graphites, a steel component, to Iran and providing the country with ship manufacturing know-how, oil-storage technology as well as flagging and classification services to Iranian tankers. Based on the new motion, the EU will also freeze the assets of 34 Iranian companies.
The bloc’s new move comes in defiance of the UN chief’s recent remarks about the humanitarian ramifications of the previously-imposed embargoes. Ban Ki-moon warned on October 5 that the West’s sanctions have mainly targeted the livelihood of the ordinary Iranian population.On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described the West’s embargoes as “illogical” and “barbaric.” This is while the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee awarded its 2012 Peace Prize to the EU on Friday. Following the West’s embargoes on Iran’s banking, the imports of more than fifty kinds of badly needed medicine for people who suffer from certain diseases such as children’s cancer, thalassemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and respiratory and heart diseases, have declined drastically. ASH/HJL/MA