Australia has joined the European Union in imposing sanctions against Iranian oil and financial institutions.
Reuters quoted Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd saying: “On the question of Iran, let me be absolutely clear [regarding] the actions taken in Brussels yesterday on sanctions by the European Union — we in Australia will undertake precisely the same parallel action for Australia.”
The 27 member states of the European Union agreed on January 23 to boycott Iranian oil. According to the new sanctions, no new agreements will be signed with Iran and all existing agreements will have to be completed by July 1, 2012.
The EU said the new sanctions are aimed at bringing Iran back to the table for negotiations over its nuclear program.
Iran summoned the Danish ambassador in Tehran to protest the EU decision. Denmark currently holds the presidency of the European Union.
Iran has condemned the EU oil embargo and accused European countries of creating a crisis.
U.S. President Barack Obama, however, has announced that the United States fully backs the new decision by its European allies.