European Union imposed new sanctions against Iran; Iran and the United States indicate at fresh nuclear talk
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  • European Union foreign ministers have imposed new tougher sanctions against Iran in an effort to stop its nuclear programme. The new restrictions cover foreign trade, financial services and the oil and gas sectors which are considered to be the back bone of Iranian economy. EU officials noted that the package was "by some way the most far-reaching sanctions adopted by the EU against any country.” Reacting to the newer sanctions, Iran said it would fail. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast stated that "sanctions are not considered an effective tool... and they will only complicate the situation.”1

    Iran and the United States have sent positive signals about the possibility of fresh talks on the Iranian nuclear program. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Iran has given an assurance to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity if world powers agreed to a proposed nuclear fuel swap. The offer, conveyed to Davutoglu could bode well for an expected resumption of talks in September between Iran and major powers on Iran’s enrichment program. After Davutoglu’s comments, the US State Department said Iran had often sent mixed signals but that the United States was “fully prepared” to resume talks among the six major powers and Tehran. Last time, talks were held between Iran and six major powers i.e. the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in Geneva in October 2009. US State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley stated, “we hope to have the same kind of meeting coming up in the coming weeks that we had last October…we are interested in a process, more than one meeting.”2