• The European Union has blacklisted Iran’s state-owned Bank Tejarat and imposed trade sanctions on it.
  • The EU said that Bank Tejarat had directly facilitated Iran’s nuclear efforts in various ways to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization to acquire yellowcake uranium.
  • It said that Bank Tejarat has a history of helping designated Iranian banks circumvent international sanctions. It stated that by providing financial services to other banks, Bank Tejarat has also tacitly supported the Revolutionary Guards and other Iranian military organizations.
  • The move is aimed at further isolating Iran and exerting pressure on it to begin talks on its disputed nuclear program. EU governments agreed on Monday to an immediate ban on all new contracts to import, buy or transport Iranian crude oil, and to freeze the assets of Iran’s central bank.
  • They also agreed to ban all trade in diamonds, gold and other precious metals with the central bank and other public bodies. Western powers allege Iran’s program is aimed at developing nuclear weapons capability.
  • Iran says it is enriching uranium solely for peaceful purposes.