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EU ready to take unilateral sanctions against Tehran: Kouchner

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Bernard Kouchner
Bernard Kouchner
AFP, Saariselka, Finland, March 14, 2010  - The European Union is ready to unilaterally impose new sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed Sunday.
Asked by journalists whether there was a consensus within the EU for unilateral sanctions against Iran, Kouchner replied ’roughly yes, but we have to talk about what kind of sanctions.
’And first we should devote our strength and time to get a resolution in the UN Security Council and we’re working on that,’ he said.
’The general consensus is also to not target the people but to target the economy, banking, insurance and travel permits for some particular people,’ he added.
Kouchner was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Finland. Already on Saturday his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb indicated that there was a sufficient consensus within the EU to impose unilateral sanctions on Iran if need be.
Western governments, particularly the United States and France, are seeking further sanctions on Tehran in the hope of stopping the Islamic republic’s nuclear drive, which they suspect may be aimed at acquiring atomic weapons.
Iran says its nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes.
Of the five permanent Security Council members, currently only China opposes new measures against Iran.
The 15-strong UN Security Council has five permanent veto-wielding members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Adoption of a resolution requires at least nine votes from the council and no veto from the permanent members.

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