EU Agrees to Extend Syria Sanctions to Include 3 Iranians
The European Union on Wednesday agreed to extend the list of sanctions against Syria by adding seven people, including three Iranians, and four companies.
The three Iranians were accused of providing military equipment to support Syria's brutal crackdown on protests, diplomats told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.
The identities of those targeted by the sanctions will be revealed when the EU publishes its Official Journal on Friday.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem denied Wednesday that Syria had received any assistance from ally Iran or Lebanon's Hizbullah in putting down the protests.
He also said Syria regarded EU sanctions as a "war" against Damascus.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is already among 23 people on the EU sanctions list.
EU foreign ministers had vowed during a meeting on Monday to beef up the sanctions on Syria as they cast doubt on Assad's latest offer of change, with Britain saying he should "reform or step aside."
At the same time, several European nations have joined Washington in pushing for a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the crackdown, but Russia has warned it would veto such a move.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said this week it was vital for the U.N. Security Council "to express the outrage of the world."
"The silence of the Security Council until now can be seen as an indirect tolerance of what is going on in Syria and that is unacceptable," he said.
German counterpart Guido Westerwelle said Moscow's U.N. position "goes in the wrong direction".
More than 1,300 civilians have been killed and some 10,000 people arrested, according to Syrian rights groups, in the crackdown that has seen troops dispatched to crush revolt in cities across the country.