The FINANCIAL -- Britain's
Foreign Minister William Hague said on Monday that the European Union
will "intensify" sanctions against Iran over coming months if there is
no progress in nuclear talks.
"We will intensify the sanctions over the coming months if there is no progress," Hague told reporters on arrival for talks among EU peers in Luxembourg, days from the entry into force of a ban on Iranian oil imports to the EU and after talks in MOSCOW between Iran and world powers failed to reach a breakthrough.
Negotiators from permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany, last week agreed with their Iranian counterparts to stage a new expert-level meeting in the decade in Istanbul on July 3.
The West suspects Iran of seeking to make nuclear weapons under the guise of an energy programme and wants it to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity -- a level close to that needed to make the core of a nuclear bomb.
According to EUbusiness, Western powers have refused to concede to Iranian demands to scrap US and EU sanctions targeting its oil export sector that are due to come into force on June 28 and July 1 respectively.
"It's very important we go ahead with that," Hague said of the oil sanctions.
Of the wider talks, Hague maintained that "it's not too late for Iran to get a more promising response to the offer of but they have not done so so far".