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The EU's measure was published today at the body's oficial gazette.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EU sanctions Venezuelan bank due to alleged links to Iran's nuclear plans

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L), and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez.

The European Union has ordered the freezing of all funds of the International Development Bank of Venezuela, branch of the Iranian Export Development Bank as it is indicated to hold close ties with the Iranian nuclear programme.

The EU's measure was published today at the body's oficial gazette.

Likewise, the Venezuelan bank, which had been sanctioned by the US Treasure Department in the past, denies on its web site to be collaborating with any nuclear activities conducted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration

The bank also assures that its only goal is to "bring the best banking services to the public under its universal bank license, and always following the Venezuelan banking norms and regulations."

However, the Export Development Bank is one of 34 Iranian entities involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities that will see its economic resources as well the ones of its subsidiaries blocked or frozen.

The European foreign ministers took the decision in Brussels in implementation of resolution 1929 which was approved and adopted by the United Nations Security Council on 9 June.

The 27 ministers approved a package of measures that are way more restrictive than those of the UN. These measures carry the intention of forcing the Iranian government to agree to reopen negotiations on its nuclear programme.

The head of European diplomacy, Catherine Ashton, said that Iran's nuclear programme worries the European Union since Tehran is not complying with the resolutions of the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, Ashton stressed that the goal remains to find a solution that allows everyone to have confidence in Iranian civil nuclear programme and that sanctions are only a means to achieve it.

 

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