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Tougher economic sanctions on Tehran expected

Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 01:52

Dec. 1 - EU foreign ministers meet to discuss tougher sanctions on Iran, while on the streets of Tehran people hope for a diplomatic solution to the impass between Iraq and the UK. Nick Rowlands reports.

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Arriving at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, William Hague expresses his hope that tougher economic sanctions will be imposed on Iran. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING: "I hope we will agree today additional measures that will be an intensification of the economic pressure on Iran, peaceful legitimate economic pressure, particularly to increase the isolation of the Iranian financial sector." The British foreign secretary also accused Iran of helping to shore up embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING: "There is a link between what is happening in Iran and what is happening in Syria. I believe the Iranian government has given assistance to the Assad regime in trying to control and suppress protests in Syria. " The meeting follows Tuesday's storming of the British diplomatic mission in Tehran, when Iranians, protesting sanctions imposed by Britain attacked the embassy compound, looting offices and burning documents. Britain responded by ordering the closure of the Iranian embassy in London and expelling its staff. British embassy staff have also left Iran. On the streets of Tehran, people say the deterioration in international relations is not good for the country. (SOUNDBITE)(Farsi) 50-YEAR-OLD RETIRED TEHRAN RESIDENT HASSAN KIANI, SAYING: "It is not good to sever ties. We should have dealt with this in a diplomatic way. We should treat them the same way that they treat us. We have to question what it is that they want that we can't give them, and what it is that we want that they can't give us. We need to find a way to come to an agreement, and try not to be on the defensive, and be confronted politically or militarily." These latest incidents come as tensions increase between Iran and the West over Tehran's alleged nuclear weapons programme. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Tougher economic sanctions on Tehran expected

Thursday, December 01, 2011 - 01:52