Britain, E.U. to tighten Iran sanctions

Britain and the European Union will tighten sanctions on Iran.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made the announcement after meeting with U.S. President George Bush in London on Monday. He said that Britain and the European Union would freeze the assets and European transactions of Bank Melli, Iran’s largest commercial bank.

In a move that could cause oil prices to soar even higher, Brown said that European leaders would discuss placing sanctions on investments in Iran’s oil industry if the nation does not stop its nuclear program. Iran, in turn, has threatened to shift its trade from Europe to Asia.

The two leaders said they preferred to resolve the dispute with Iran diplomatically.

Brown also said he would not allow himself to be pressured to remove British troops from Iraq before their mission is completed. He also said he would send more forces to Afghanistan to support the NATO mission there. Britain has 7,800 troops in Afghanistan, second in number only to the United States.

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