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EU Hits Iran With Oil Ban, Asset Freeze Over Nuclear Effort

European Union foreign ministers agreed to ban oil imports from Iran starting July 1 as part of efforts to ratchet up pressure on the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear program, the 27-nation bloc said in a statement.

The EU will freeze assets in Europe of the Iranian central bank as well as of eight other entities and ban trade in gold, precious metals, diamonds and petrochemical products from Iran. The Iranian Foreign Ministry in a statement called the decision “aggressive” and said it will have “negative consequences” in Europe, including higher oil prices.