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EU Imposes New Sanctions on Iran

January 24, 2012

Monday, the European Union imposed unprecedented sanctions on Iranian oil exports to continue to pressure Iran to return to negotiations and to halt its uranium enrichment efforts. The EU sanctions, which are to be fully implemented by July 2012, ban imports of crude oil, petroleum products, and petrochemical products from Iran.

The move, said France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppé to the New York Times, is intended “to avoid any military solution, which could have irreparable consequences… It is a good decision that sends a strong message and which I hope will persuade Iran that it must change its position, change its line and accept the dialogue that we propose.”

Matthew Kroenig of the Council on Foreign Relations is skeptical the EU sanctions will have any real impact. You can see his explanation hereRouzbeh Parsi of the EU Institute of Strategic Studies supports this assessment: “everyone agrees [sanctions] will hurt the Iranian economy, [but] whether they will hurt enough to bring negotiation is a more open question…” (in the Christian Science Monitor).

In response, Iran has renewed threats made in December 2011 to close the Strait of Hormuz. Is Iran likely to do so? What would be the impact? Find answers in this FAQ (Christian Science Monitor) and this video (BBC).

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