Iran Faces New EU Sanctions, Re-opens International Airwaves

World | February 12, 2010, Friday // 16:04|  views

In the week that Iran celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the European Union adds its voice to US calls for an increase in sanctions. Photo by BGNES

Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb has stated that the European Union may well announce "very strong sanctions" against Iran, within days or weeks.

Iran has recently declared itself a "nuclear state", prompting the US to immediately call for tougher sanctions to be imposed.

"The UN Security Council should take the lead on sanctions, but if that is not successful "we'll do it through the EU, I would estimate, in a matter of days or weeks," Mr Stubb said at a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, after meeting his Canadian counterpart.

Sanctions would involve a financial embargo and "issues related to energy", Stubb suggested.

China and Russia both have a veto right in the UN Security Council, and could block efforts spearheaded by the US to adopt tougher sanctions on Iran.

Earlier this week, Moscow had expressed frustration with Tehran over the nuclear dossier, whereas China has adopted a more reserved stance on the subject of sanctions.

Meantime, international broadcasters are back on the air on Friday, after their satellite signals were blocked by the Iranian government, according to Deutsche Welle.

The Tehran government had reportedly blocked transmissions earlier in the week of a number of international news outlets, including Deutsche Welle, the BBC and Voice of America.

Erik Betterman,the DW Director-Genera, hadl submitted a letter of protest to the Iranian ambassador in Berlin, blaming Iran for the disruption of broadcasts since Wednesday.

"This is a serious matter. For the second time our television transmissions have been jammed or disrupted," he said. "And this doesn't only affect our transmissions to Iran. All the radio programs we play over to our partner stations are affected, and you can't receive our television from Moscow to the Atlantic," Betterman said.

These complaints had come as the US accused Iran of a total information blockade, jamming access to Google and other popular websites within the country.

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Tags: Iran, US, EU, UN Security Council, UN sanctions, Russia, China, DW, BBC, VOA


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