Reuters: Austria opposes the idea of separate European Union sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear enrichment programme, Austria’s foreign minister was quoted on Monday as telling a German newspaper. BERLIN, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Austria opposes the idea of separate European Union sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend its nuclear enrichment programme, Austria’s foreign minister was quoted on Monday as telling a German newspaper.
France has suggested the European Union should impose its own separate sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council is unable to agree on a third round of economic penalties for Tehran’s refusal to halt sensitive nuclear activity.
“We will implement the U.N. sanctions to the letter,” Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik told Handelsblatt newspaper in a preview of an interview appearing on Tuesday. “That’s where it stays.”
“The basis for Iran sanctions are decisions of the U.N. Security Council,” she added.
Diplomats have told Reuters that Germany is also opposed to separate EU sanctions. Italy has said it opposes separate sanctions as well. All three countries — Germany, Italy and Austria — still have significant business ties with Iran.
The United States has warned Austrian oil and gas group OMV that it could be the target of the first-ever application of the Iran Sanctions Act if it presses ahead with plans to develop a gas field and other investments there.
Russia and China, which like the United States, Britain and France are permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council, oppose a third sanctions resolution against Iran.
The Security Council has already agreed on two rounds of penalties for Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, a technology that the West fears Tehran intends to use to produce fuel for atomic weapons.
Iran says its nuclear programme is intended solely for the peaceful generation of electricity.