Members backed the tough new EU sanctions imposed on Iran in an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table, while calling for them to have as little impact as possible on the civilian population, in a resolution adopted on Thursday. The House demands that Iran halt its clandestine nuclear programme and condemns its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.
Parliament notes that the new sanctions, which include a phased ban on imports of Iranian crude oil to the EU, could help bring the Iranian government to respect UN resolutions avoiding further escalation. However, it wants to ensure that the sanctions target only the accountable elites and that ordinary people, especially the most vulnerable, are not hit by them At the same time, it is concerned at the impact of the oil ban on various EU Member States and asks the Council to decide on measures to offset this.
MEPs believe that blockading the Strait of Hormuz could lead to a regional conflict and trigger retaliation by the international community and they urge the Iranian authorities not to do so.
Importance of diplomatic solution
Parliament supports the Council's commitment to work for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue and the EU's goal of achieving a comprehensive, long-term settlement. It states that issues with Iran over its nuclear programme must be solved peacefully and that there is no military solution to the conflict.
MEPs recognise that dialogue and cooperation with Turkey can be important with a view to reaching a settlement.
They regret the ongoing refusal of China and Russia in the UN Security Council to support sanctions against Iran and call on Russia to cease providing assistance for Iran's nuclear development until Iran has fully complied with its obligations under UN resolutions.
EU Foreign Ministers agreed on additional restrictive measures against Iran on 23 January, including a phased ban on imports of Iranian crude oil to the EU from 1 July. The Union currently buys about 20% of Iran's oil exports.
Greece is most dependent on Iran, from which it buys about one-third of its oil. Italy and Spain each buy a little over 10% of their oil from Iran.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution