September 7, 2012 / 11:35 AM / 7 years ago

Hague calls for more EU sanctions on Iran

British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks during a news conference on the continuing situation in Syria at the United Nations headquarters in New York, August 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Garten - United Nations/Handout

PAPHOS, Cyprus (Reuters) - Foreign Secretary William Hague urged the European Union on Friday to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, as Israel continues to threaten military action.

“It is necessary to increase pressure on Iran, to intensify sanctions, to add further to EU sanctions that are already enforced,” Hague told reporters before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Cyprus.

He did not specify what form any new sanctions would take or whether the ministers would discuss the issue in detail.

The EU implemented its latest round of sanctions on Iran in July, banning oil imports from the Islamic Republic. The United States is applying increasing diplomatic pressure around the world to isolate the Iranian economy.

The sanctions are aimed at forcing Iran to curb the nuclear work the West believes is aimed at developing atomic weapons capability, something Tehran denies.

Israel, believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, sees the possibility of Iran getting the bomb as a threat to its existence and has said it may use military means if diplomacy and sanctions fail.

Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and Sebastian Moffett; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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