EU tightens sanctions on Iran
The new European measures include a general ban on financial transactions, with some exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases and provisions for legitimate trade, Reuters reported, citing an EU diplomat as a source.
The ban will require European traders to apply to their governments for authorisation before they can finance any transactions in permitted goods.
Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief was quoted as saying that she hoped turning up the heat on the Islamic Republic would persuade it to make concessions and that negotiations could resume "very soon", according to a report from Reuters.
Iran is already under considerable financial pressure from the sanctions, which are currently costing the country $5 billion a month.
Brent futures rose above $116 today (16 October) on the news, underpinned by supply concerns.