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No new EU sanctions on Iran - for now

AFP  |  Luxemburg 

EU foreign ministers today discussed how they could persuade the US not to pull out of the nuclear deal, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions on

Britain, and used a meeting of the EU's 28 foreign ministers to try to build support for expanding sanctions against to punish it for its ballistic missile programme and its role in regional conflicts including and

They hope that by doing so they will persuade US not to follow through on his threat to abandon the landmark 2015 deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Danish said there was "a very broad majority" in favour of expanding sanctions, as the clock ticks down to a May 12 deadline imposed by Trump to "fix" the agreement.

Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, said there was a need to "send a strong signal to that we're concerned in relation to some of their activity particularly in Syria".

"But also to send a message to that we share their concerns in some of those areas," Coveney said after the talks in

Targets for new sanctions could include both Iranians and also non-Iranian militias in Syria, an EU said. But any decision on sanctions would have to have unanimous support from all 28 EU states and so far several, including and Sweden, are not convinced.

German said the question of expanding sanctions would "remain on the agenda" in the coming weeks.

Another EU said the aim of Monday's talks was to build political support for new sanctions and the effort would continue in the coming weeks.

The EU is desperate to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, seeing it as the best way to stop getting the bomb. French and Germany's

will both visit on separate official visits before May 12, in part to lobby Trump on the issue.

Trump has long derided the deal as a capitulation to and has declared it no longer is in US interests to maintain the sanctions relief his predecessor granted Iran in return for controls on its nuclear programme.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 20:40 IST