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Summary: On 17 June, during the heads of state and government leaders summit, the European Union approved new restrictive measures against Iran, thus demonstrating its rejection of the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme.
According to the conclusions of the Council, this package of measures includes those already approved by the UN as well as many additional ones. This is to encourage the Teheran regime to return to the negotiating table.
The sanctions involve the prohibition of investments by EU countries in oil and gas projects, as well as the transfer of technology and equipment for this sector.
The Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, declared that the EU has decided to go further than the United Nations "because we wish to keep the diplomatic option open".
In his opinion, "placing sanctions in the Security Council's resolution does not mean that we are abandoning the path of diplomacy and negotiation".
The restrictive measures will also include new visa restrictions and the freezing in EU territory of the assets of top officials, especially the Guardians of the Revolution.
In Community territory, there will be new limitations on activities of Iranian banks, as well as that of the state maritime traffic company, (IRISL) and air-freight transportation.
Moratinos stressed that the EU and its High Representative, Catherine Ashton, have indicated to Iranian officials "on many occasions" their willingness to negotiate, and so the sanctions "send a very clear message to the Iranian authorities ".