Thursday, December 29, 2005

Europeans challenge U.S. sanctions on Iran

Washington Times:
EU officials are concerned that U.S. sanctions against companies selling Iran weapons are hobbling a unified effort to end a nuclear standoff. Tuesday, the U.S. State Department announced sanctions against nine companies -- six in China, two in India, and one in Austria. The sanctions are part of a U.S. effort to cut off the flow of technology that could aid Iran's weapons programs while also pressuring China and Russia to threaten action against Tehran at the U.N. Security Council, The New York Times reported. A senior EU official who asked not to be identified said the sanctions weren't in line with current strategy. "It is very important that the EU and Washington speak with a united voice and that the EU continue to take the diplomatic lead," he said. Talks between Iran and Britain, France and Germany resumed this month and are to continue in January.