BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign ministers are expected to ramp up sanctions against Iran and Syria when they meet in Brussels on March 23.
A top EU diplomat said on March 20 that the EU will impose a visa ban and asset freezes on 18 Iranians responsible for human rights violations, bringing the total number of people on the blacklist to 79.
The diplomat said the individuals are active in the country's judicial system as well as in media companies linked to the Tehran regime.
The ministers will also rubber-stamp a decision from last month to initiate an oil embargo against Iran scheduled to take effect on July 1.
The diplomat said the EU will also "add a few more names" to its Syria sanction list to put pressure on the government to stop its crackdown on opponents.
The EU currently has 114 Syrians and 39 companies blacklisted over their links to the Syrian regime.