(BRUSSELS, Belgium) — In response to growing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, the European Union announced on Monday that it is banning new imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products.
Existing contracts on imports, the EU said in a statement, will be allowed to run until July 1.
The latest sanction adds to a string of restrictions already imposed on Iran by the West. The U.S. and its allies began to take action against Iran after a study by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November found that the country has exceeded fears on just how far its come along with its nuclear ambitions.
Along with the oil embargo, the EU said it, “froze the assets of the Iranian central bank,” outlawed the “export of key equipment and technology” to Iran, and forbade, “trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Iranian public bodies and the central bank.”
The EU implemented these new sanctions in an effort to, “target the sources of finance” for Iran’s nuclear program.
On another note, the IAEA announced on Monday that a team of its experts will visit Iran from Jan. 29 to Jan. 31.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson and Steve Almasy, CNN
James Griffiths and Shen Lu