(Reuters) – European Union governments imposed sanctions on Tuesday against major Iranian state companies in the oil and gas industry, and strengthened restrictions on the central bank, cranking up pressure over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Among the more than 30 companies and institutions listed in the EU’s Official Journal as targets for asset freezes in Europe was the National Iranian Oil Company, one of the world’s largest oil exporters.
The United States imposed restrictions on NIOC last month as western governments seek to curb the Islamic Republic’s ability to obtain funds through oil exports worldwide.
The new listings flesh out a decision by the EU’s 27 governments on Monday to introduce sweeping new sanctions against the Iranian industry, banking and energy sectors in the hope of drawing Tehran into serious negotiations about its atom project.
Iran denies its work has any military intentions and says it will not abandon it unless major international sanctions are lifted.
In Tuesday’s listing, the EU also targeted NIOC subsidiaries, the National Iranian Gas Company, National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company and the state firm overseeing the tanker industry. Several banks were also listed.
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