The Council exchanged views on Iran and its nuclear programme.
It adopted the following conclusions:

1. "Recalling the European Council conclusions of 9 December 2011 and the Foreign Affairs
Council Conclusions of 1 December, the Council reiterates its serious and deepening
concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme and in particular over the findings on Iranian
activities relating to the development of military nuclear technology, as reflected in the
latest IAEA report. The recent start of operations of enrichment of uranium to a level of up
to 20% in the deeply buried underground facility in Fordow near Qom further aggravates
concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran’s acceleration
of enrichment activities is in flagrant violation of six UNSC Resolutions and eleven IAEA
Board resolutions and contributes to increasing tensions in the region. The Council calls upon
Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA, including in the context of the planned visit by its
Deputy Director General for Safeguards.

2. Iran continues to refuse to comply with its international obligations and to fully co-operate
with the IAEA to address the concerns on its nuclear programme, and instead continues to
violate those obligations. In this context and in accordance with the Council conclusions
of 1 December 2011, the Council has agreed additional restrictive measures in the energy
sector, including a phased embargo of Iranian crude oil imports to the EU, in the financial
sector, including against the Central Bank of Iran, in the transport sector as well as further
export restrictions, notably on gold and on sensitive dual-use goods and technology, as well
as additional designations of persons and entities, including several controlled by the Islamic
Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

3. The Council again reaffirms the longstanding commitment to work for a diplomatic solution
to the Iranian nuclear issue in accordance with the dual-track approach. The Council stresses
that the restrictive measures agreed today are aimed at affecting the funding of Iran’s nuclear
programme by the Iranian regime and are not aimed at the Iranian people. The Iranian regime
itself can act responsibly and bring all sanctions to an end.

4. The Council reaffirms that the objective of the EU remains to achieve a comprehensive and
long-term settlement which would build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful
nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s legitimate rights to the
peaceful uses of nuclear energy in conformity with the NPT. Supporting the ongoing efforts
by the EU High Representative and reaffirming the importance of close co-operation with
the E3+3, the Council urges Iran to reply positively to the offer for substantial negotiations,
as set out in the High Representative’s letter of 21 October 2011, by clearly demonstrating its
readiness to engage in confidence building measures and, without preconditions, in
meaningful talks to seriously address existing concerns on the nuclear issue."
At the same time, the Council adopted a package of restrictive measures targeting the sources of
finance for the Iranian nuclear programme. For details, see press release 5457/12.


The Council discussed the situation in Syria and adopted the following conclusions:

1. "The European Union remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Syria
and the widespread and systematic violations of human rights and calls again for an
immediate end to the violence. The EU is particularly concerned by the recent escalation of
violence and reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms of the brutal crackdown by
the Syrian government which risks exacerbating even further the spiral of violence,
sectarian clashes and militarization. President Assad must step aside immediately to allow
for a peaceful and democratic transition.

2. The EU strongly condemns the bombs attacks in Damascus on 23 December 2011 and on
6 January 2012 causing scores of deaths and injuries. Any acts of terrorism are criminal
and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation and by whosoever committed. The EU also
condemns the attack on 11 January that killed a French journalist and several Syrian
civilians, injuring many more people, including a Dutch journalist. The EU calls for light
to be shed on this attack. The Syrian authorities have a responsibility to guarantee the
safety of journalists in their country. The press must be allowed to carry out its vital role of
providing independent information on the events in Syria without fear of violence or

3. The EU welcomes the League of Arab States’ resolution of 22 January and its initiative to
seek UNSC support for a political solution . The EU is deeply concerned by the Syrian
authorities’ lack of cooperation and urges them to fully comply with the League of Arab
States’ Action Plan and their commitments undertaken in that respect, to completely stop
acts of violence against civilians, free political detainees, remove troops, tanks and
weapons from cities, and allow independent observers and the media, to freely travel in
and report on Syria.

4. The EU recalls its support to the League of Arab States’ efforts to end the cycle of violence
in Syria, and to the deployment of its monitoring mission, including through the setting up
of the LAS situation room. The EU welcomes the UN readiness to provide training and
assistance to the League’s monitors and encourages the League to accept UN assistance to
ensure technical support for the mission.

5. The EU welcomes the League of Arab States’ decision to extend its observation mission
and to reinforce its capacity to report independently on the situation in Syria. The EU takes
note of the League of Arab States’ decision to appoint a Special Envoy for Syria.

6. The EU condemns in the strongest terms the attacks on the League of Arab States’ mission
monitors and calls for an impartial and swift investigation into the events. The mission
must be able to act safely and with independence and to access all detention facilities.

7. Given the Syrian regime’s continued use of violence against civilians, the EU has today
designated further 22 individuals and 8 entities to be subject to restrictive measures. The
EU will continue its policy of imposing additional measures against the regime, not to the
civilian population, as long as repression continues. Following the assessment of EU
Member States, the listing of designated persons who have dissociated themselves from the
repressive policy of the regime will be reconsidered. The EU calls on the international
community to join its efforts to target those responsible for or associated with the violent
repression and those who support or benefit from the regime

8. The EU reiterates its strong support to the Syrian people and encourages the Syrian
opposition to make all efforts to strengthen coordination on the way forward in order to
realise an orderly transition to a Syria that is democratic, stable, inclusive and that
guarantees minority rights. It supports the efforts of the League of Arab States in this
respect. The EU will continue to engage with representative members of the Syrian
opposition, such as the SNC, which adhere to non violence, inclusiveness and democratic

9. The EU reiterates its strong concerns about the deteriorating living conditions of the Syrian
people in a great number of localities affected by the unrest. The Syrian authorities must
immediately alleviate the suffering of the population living in these areas, respect and
protect the wounded and sick, guarantee unhindered access to medical care without any
discrimination or reprisal and refrain from intimidation of those providing medical
assistance. The Syrian authorities must allow full and unimpeded access of relief personnel
from international humanitarian organisations for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid
to persons in need of assistance.

10. The EU urges all members of the UN Security Council to uphold their responsibilities to
end the violence against the Syrian population and support the Syrian people in their desire
for freedom and political rights. The EU welcomes the establishment by the UN Human
Rights Council of a Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Syria and urges
the Syrian Government to fully cooperate with the Rapporteur. The EU recalls the main
findings of the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry which stated that crimes
against humanity may have been committed in the country. The EU looks forward to the
next debate of the UN Human Rights Council on Syria on the 12 March 2012."
In response to the continuing human rights violations, the Council reinforced the EU’s restrictive
measures against the Syrian regime. For details, see press release 5537/12.