France urges EU to move ahead on Iran sanctions

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BRUSSELS, Oct 3 (Reuters) French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has urged European Union counterparts to study widening existing sanctions on Iran's banking sector over its nuclear programme before any new UN resolution against Tehran.

''These new measures, coming from its most important commercial partner, should have the aim of increasing the pressure on Iran, in particular in the financial and economic area,'' Kouchner wrote in a letter to fellow EU ministers, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters today.

''Initially, we could add new entities, in particular in the banking sector, and new individuals to the existing European lists of asset freezes and visa bans,'' he added, urging a debate on such measures at an October 15 meeting of EU foreign ministers.

REUTERS SKB PM1701

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