Iran has hit out at talk of more EU sanctions being applied against it as "irresponsible," singling out Britain for raising the prospect it claimed went against U.N. nuclear watchdog regulations.
Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast issued a statement relayed by state broadcaster IRIB calling Western sanctions "ineffective" and "obsolete." He was reacting to comments made by EU foreign ministers, meeting in Cyprus who said a "growing consensus" was forming to impose new punitive measures on Iran to pressure it further to make concessions on its disputed nuclear program. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said after the meeting that existing EU sanctions were having "a serious impact" but it was "necessary to increase the pressure on Iran, to intensify sanctions." Hague's German and French counterparts echoed that position, underlining EU frustration that talks this year between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group -- Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Russia and China -- had gone nowhere.