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EU Ministers Put Off Decision On More Iran Sanctions

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton

European Union foreign ministers have warned of tougher sanctions against Iran, but said they will wait till their next meeting on December 1 before taking further action.

Last week, a report by the UN's nuclear agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), strongly suggested Iran was engaged in nuclear weapons development.

The ministers, in a statement issued after a meeting in Brussels, said they "will continue to examine possible new and reinforced measures and revert to this issue at its next meeting, taking into account Iran's actions."

EU foreign policy and security chief Catherine Ashton told reporters after the meeting that the ministers recognized "the importance of the director-general of the [IAEA's] report" as well as and the "significance" of what they are saying about Iran's intentions.

The United States and Israel have refused to rule out any option to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear arsenal.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal also said before the meeting on November 13 that military action should not be ruled out.

But the French and German foreign ministers, Guido Westerwelle and Alain Juppe spoke strongly against a military option.

On November 13, U.S. President Barack Obama said Washington will consult with China and Russia on ways the three powers can cooperate to ensure that Iran does not weaponize nuclear power.

compiled from agency reports

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