New EU sanctions to hit Syria commercial bank and 29 Iranians
The European Union is preparing to target a Syrian commercial bank and 29 Iranians accused of human rights violations in fresh sanctions to be announced in the coming days, EU diplomats said Thursday.
A decision to blacklist a commercial bank is expected to be formally adopted in the coming days and come into force at the end of next week, several diplomatic sources told AFP.
The 27-nation bloc last month banned the delivery to Syria’s central bank of bank-notes and coins produced in the EU in a seventh round of sanctions designed to step up economic pressure on President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The last round also included a ban on European firms making new investments in Syria's oil industry, biting further at Assad’s regime after an earlier ban on imports of Syrian crude to Europe.
Europe buys 95 percent of Syria’s oil exports, providing the regime with one third of its hard currency earnings.
New restrictive measures against Iran meanwhile will target 29 Iranians with an assets freeze and travel ban “to state our concern on the situation of human rights,” as one senior EU diplomat put it.
The EU enforced the same measures in March against 32 Iranians.