Blog AnalysisIran

Iran: Europeans bet on strangling the regime

(BRUSSELS2 in Luxembourg) The “27” foreign ministers adopted today (October 15) a new set of sanctions against Iran. A major train since the Iranian petrochemical and gas industry, banks and Iranian trade as a whole, as well as industry, are targeted. In short, the economic core of the country. Furthermore, the EU has decided to place on its visa-ban blacklists and whose assets are frozen, 34 additional entities – which provide substantial financial support – and 1 person involved in the Iranian nuclear program.

The European Union has thus decreed a ban on Iranian gas – whether for import, purchase or transport such as financing or insurance. This ban extends to key equipment that may be used for Iran's petrochemical, gas or oil industry. Ships – owned by European companies or EU citizens – will no longer be able to be used to transport Iranian gas or oil. Likewise, the EU has prohibited classification societies from approving Iranian tankers or merchant ships. The construction of new tankers is also banned.

Another series of measures: the financial sector. All financial transactions between European and Iranian banks are now prohibited, except those authorized in advance by national authorities, under strict conditions. The 27 also strengthened their measures against the Central Bank of Iran. And measures aimed at guaranteeing trade with Iran such as export credits, guarantees and other assurances for short-term means are prohibited (medium- and long-term commitments had already been prohibited).

Last series of measures: industry. The ban on certain materials that can be used for ballistic or nuclear programs or industries controlled by the Revolutionary Guards are also targeted: the graphite industry, semi-finished metals (aluminum, steel) such as software for industrial processes. This prohibition also includes any financial and technical assistance.

The objective of the sanctions is officially aimed at “ the ballistic and nuclear programs and the revenues of the Iranian government dedicated to these programs ". This is a very clear signal to the Iranian government, in the grip of a deep economic crisis, to return to the path of negotiation, and to " comply with all international obligations ». The EU “ has long been committed to working for a diplomatic solution » on the nuclear program. So far there has been no real response from the Iranians, according to a diplomat. But its scope goes much further. Thus, even if the Europeans indicate that they do not want to target the populations, in reality, it aims to reduce the lifestyle of the Iranian state, to sanction it, and to provoke a reaction in the population. It is also an important signal to those who would be tempted to act militarily against Iran (mainly Israel) to indicate that everything is currently being done against the Islamic Republic.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).