Tougher EU sanctions against Iran come into force

Iran

The new European measures make clear natural gas shipments are prohibited in any form and swapping, as opposed to simply buying, cargoes is also outlawed.

While imposing a general ban on financial transactions, they make exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases and provisions for legitimate trade.

In a statement, the European Commission said the new law brought the number of entities subject to sanctions to 490 and the total number of persons to 105.

The latest companies added to the banned list include energy and steel distribution firms and financial companies.

The latest individual to be added is Babak Zanjani, owner of the Sorinet Group, based in the United Arab Emirates. He is referred to as "a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil-related money".

Iran says its nuclear project has only peaceful energy purposes and has refused in three rounds of talks since April to scale back its uranium enrichment activity unless major economic sanctions are rescinded.

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