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. EU to move on imposing UN sanctions against Iran
BRUSSELS, Jan 19 (AFP) Jan 19, 2007
The European Union will call next week for the full and rapid implementation of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its suspect nuclear programme, EU officials said Friday.

EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels Monday, are to agree to halt the import and export of nuclear-related goods, freeze the assets of those linked to the programme and impose a travel ban on some individuals.

"The EU is really determined to interpret the resolution in a very strict way. We want to send a clear message to Iran," an EU diplomat said, on condition of anonymity.

Officials say the EU has imposed a "de-facto" arms embargo on Iran for the last decade and the ministers will only recall "EU policy not to sell arms to Iran", according to a draft of the conclusions they are to adopt Monday.

One EU official said their refusal to formalise the ban was "to keep some ammunition for later on."

The UN Security Council passed resolution 1737 on December 23 imposing sanctions on Iran because it has repeatedly refused to fully cooperate with the UN's atomic energy watchdog or suspend uranium enrichment.

Highly-enriched uranium can be used to build an atom bomb and the West fears that the Islamic republic could be trying to develop such a weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme.

Iran maintains that it is only exercising its right as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to develop nuclear technology to meet its energy needs.

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