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, 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.
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"I stress that the measures I hope we will agree today are related to the Iranian nuclear program, these are not measures in reaction to what has happened to our embassy," he added.
Britain shut Iran's embassy in London and expelled 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 program, 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 mulling sanctions
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
On Wednesday, diplomats claimed that the storming of the British embassy compound in Tehran provides extra ammunition to European governments pushing for stronger sanctions against Iran, in particular a contentious embargo on Iranian oil.
"From a political point of view this (attack) cannot, I think, work in the direction of EU member states wanting to ease pressure on Iran," one senior EU diplomat said. "On the contrary."
"The whole question is do we go further and add a new set of sanctions apart from those adopted in the past," he said.
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