UK to call for tougher Iran economic sanctions
LONDON - Reuters
A police officer stands guard outside the Iranian embassy in central London, on November 30, 2011. AFP Photo
Britain will call for stronger economic sanctions on Iran at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels on Thursday following the storming of its embassy in Tehran, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday.
"I will be advocating an intensification of economic sanctions on Iran, particularly to increase the isolation of the Iranian financial sector," he told BBC radio from Brussels.
"I stress that the measures I hope we will agree today are related to the Iranian nuclear programme, these are not measures in reaction to what has happened to our embassy," he added.
Britain shut Iran's embassy in London and expelled all its staff on Wednesday, saying the storming of the British mission in Tehran on Tuesday could not have taken place without consent from Iranian authorities.
"Our bigger, long-term concern is the Iranian nuclear programme, the danger that poses to the peace of the Middle East and the wider world ... and it is for that reason that we will agree, I hope, today to intensify European Union sanctions on Iran," Hague said.
EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels later on Thursday to map out Europe's response to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in recent weeks that suggested Iran has worked on designing an atom bomb.