The EU countries agreed on Monday morning on an oil embargo against Iran. The measures are to be implemented as of the first of July attack. Moreover, the Iranian central bank will be subject to sanctions in order to impede the financing of Iran's nuclear program.
Before his departure to Brussels German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said: "I am confident that the EU now has a firm response to the refusal of Iran's to fulfill its international obligations regarding its nuclear program " However, he said "the door remains open to dialogue." He added: "Currently we have no other choice but to take new sanctions that may dry the financial resources of the nuclear program."
On his part, the British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the beginning of the meeting: "We expect an unprecedented sanctions package." It is the sharpest of the EU sanctions against Iran since 2005.
The Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said: "Sanctions alone are not the solution to this issue." But they are necessary in order to seek a diplomatic solution with Iran.
Bildt and Hague said they were convinced that Iran will not try to close the Strait of Hormuz. The EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton commented: "The pressure of the sanctions is intended to ensure that Iran returns to the negotiating table."
In 2010, the EU imported about 5.7 percent of its oil needs from Iran. Greece, Italy and Spain are expected to be the most affected from the oil embargo.