Huffpost Politics

Britain To Freeze Assets Of Iran's Largest Bank In New Sanctions

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LUXEMBOURG — An EU spokeswoman says the 27-nation bloc is ready to issue stronger financial sanctions against Iran.

The spokeswoman for EU foreign and security affairs chief Javier Solana says EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg have not formalized the decision.

But Cristina Gallach says: "it is clear they are ready to move further. We will definitely take a formal decision."

She would not speculate Monday on the timing of a final decision but made it clear foreign ministers from the bloc have agreed in principle on stronger punishment for Tehran.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had said earlier he will push for stronger sanctions. He and the 26 other EU leaders are meeting in Brussels for an EU summit later this week.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) _ A British official says European Union nations have agreed in principle to freeze the assets of Iran's largest bank.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman, Michael Ellam, said Monday an agreement is in place over the assets of Bank Melli.

Ellam has said following talks in London between Brown and President Bush that all EU member states had agreed they should freeze the bank's assets.

Foreign ministers were meeting in Luxembourg on Monday and Iran was high on the agenda. European Union officials could not immediately confirm the plans.