Syria and Iran are “very likely” to face more sanctions by European Union nations meeting in Brussels on Thursday, diplomats said Tuesday.
France will support moves to implement more punitive measures against both Syria and Iran, the Foreign Ministry sources said.
The EU has already put in place sanctions against scores of Syrians either part of or linked with the regime, which is accused of bloody repression of protesters and the deaths of close to 4,000 people.
The EU has especially penalized travel and financial and banking activities by Syria and has halted oil imports from that country.
Now the European entity is planning to approve a further ban on Syrian banks working in Europe and the list of individuals, companies and institutions targeted for sanctions is to be further expanded, sources said.
While the EU has already stopped European Investment Bank (EIB) operations in Syria, the new sanctions to be approved Thursday will further curtail European financial or credits to Syria, either on a bilateral or multilateral level, with the exception of humanitarian goods like food and medicine.
France said that the “overwhelming” impact of Monday’s report on Syria from the UN Human Rights Council showed the scope of the repression and abuses in Syria and the need to bring more pressure to bear on Damascus.
Asked about Iran, officials here said that the sanctions discussion on Thursday “would work the same” in the Iranian case and there would be tougher measures adopted.
Additional sanctions on Iran are expected to be an expansion of existing measures aimed at travel by Iranian officials and also aimed to freeze assets of Iranian entities linked to the regime.
France has also called for a freezing of the assets of the Iranian Central Bank and a halt to imports of Iranian oil but this was proposed as individual initiatives by several nations and remains to be agreed at EU level.