BBC: EU leaders approve fresh sanctions against Iran

The U.S. announced fresh sanctions against Iran Wednesday, implementing the UN measures approved last week. European leaders approved a new set of sanctions against Iran Thursday that go further than the latest United Nations measures.

The fresh EU sanctions include a ban on investments, technical assistance and technology transfers to Iran’s key oil and gas industry. Iran’s shipping and air cargo companies will also be banned from operating in EU territory, and new visa bans and asset freezes will target Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

On Thursday, Russia criticized the EU sanctions. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, “We are extremely disappointed that neither the United States nor the European Union is heeding our calls to refrain from such steps.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the vote as “a used handkerchief” fit for the dustbin.