The Council discussed the situation concerning Iran, following the publication of the new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran’s nuclear programme.

The Council adopted the following conclusions :

1. "The Council reiterates its serious and deepening concerns over the nature of Iran’s 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. In this regard, the Council strongly supports the resolution adopted by the IAEA Board of Governors, which expresses deep and increasing concerns about unresolved issues and stresses the grave concern posed by Iran’s continued refusal to comply with its international obligations and to fully co-operate with the IAEA.

2. In the light of these concerns, the Council has today designated a further 180 entities and individuals to be subject to restrictive measures. These designations include entities and individuals directly involved in Iran’s nuclear activities, which are in violation of UNSC resolutions ; entities and individuals owned, controlled or acting on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) ; and members of, as well as entities controlled by, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

3. In accordance with the European Council Declaration of 23 October, the Council further agreed that, given the seriousness of the situation, including the acceleration of the near 20% uranium enrichment activities by Iran, in violation of six UNSC resolutions and eleven IAEA Board resolutions, and the installation of centrifuges at a previously undeclared and deeply buried site near Qom, as detailed in the IAEA report, the EU should extend the scope of its restrictive measures against Iran.

4. In particular, the Council agreed to broaden existing sanctions by examining, in close coordination with international partners, additional measures including measures aimed at severely affecting the Iranian financial system, in the transport sector, in the energy sector, measures against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as in other areas. The Council tasked preparatory Council bodies to further elaborate these measures for adoption, no later than by the next Foreign Affairs Council.

5. The Council again reaffirmed the longstanding commitment of the European Union to work for a diplomatic solution of the Iranian nuclear issue in accordance with the dual track approach. The Council welcomes and fully supports the continuing efforts of the EU High Representative on behalf of the E3+3 aimed at convincing Iran to enter into meaningful talks on concrete confidence building measures. The Council calls upon Iran to respond positively to the offer of negotiations in the EU High Representative’s latest letter by demonstrating its readiness to seriously address existing concerns on the nuclear issue.

6. 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 under the NPT."

The Council also adopted the following statement on the attack on the British Embassy in Teheran :

"The Council is outraged by the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran and utterly condemns it. It is a violation of the Vienna Convention. It also deplores the decision to expel the British Ambassador from Tehran. The Council considers these actions against the UK as actions against the European Union as a whole. The EU is taking appropriate measures in response."

In the light of the EU’s concerns, the Council reinforced EU restrictive measures. For more information, see press release 17877/11.

Camp Ashraf

The Council discussed the situation regarding Camp Ashraf in Iraq, following an update by the High Representative about the latest developments.


The Council discussed the situation in Syria.

In light of the continued repression, the Council reinforced the EU’s restrictive measures against the Syrian regime, targeting its ability to conduct the brutal repression. For more information, see press release 17895/11.

The Council adopted the following conclusions :

1. "The European Union strongly supports the efforts of the League of Arab States (LAS) to bring about an end to the repression in Syria and provide protection to the civilians by deploying an observer mission on the ground. The EU welcomes the significant decision of the Arab League to impose sanctions against the Syrian regime due to its repeated failure to deliver on its promises and to its refusal to implement the Arab Plan of Action. The EU will continue to support the Arab League’s efforts to restore peace and welcomes the commitment by the Arab League to engage with the UNSG to solve this crisis which represents a threat to regional stability.

2. The EU reiterates its condemnation in the strongest terms of the brutal crackdown by the Syrian government which risks taking Syria down a very dangerous path of violence, sectarian clashes and militarization. The EU salutes once more the unwavering courage of those in Syria who are protesting and their willingness to remain committed to nonviolence. The EU reaffirms its support for the Syrian people, in their quest for dignity and freedom, to decide the future of their country through peaceful, democratic as well as non sectarian means. President Assad must step aside immediately to allow for a peaceful and democratic transition.

3. The EU is extremely worried about the deteriorating living conditions of the Syrian people in certain localities affected by the unrest, especially in the region of Homs. The Syrian authorities must immediately alleviate the suffering of the population living in these areas and must allow unhindered and sustained access to humanitarian agencies and workers and ensure the functioning of basic and health services.

4. The EU welcomes the resolution on human rights in Syria approved on 22 November in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee and welcomes in particular the Arab support for its adoption. The resolution sends a strong signal of wide and united condemnation of the Syrian regime’s systematic abuses and underlines international support for the Arab League. The EU welcomes the publication of the report of the independent international commission of enquiry on the violations of international human rights law in Syria since March 2011.The upcoming Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Syria, for which the EU has called, could also contribute to the international efforts to push the Syrian government to end the appalling violence against its population. The EU will continue to press for strong UN action to increase international pressure and urges all members of the UN Security Council to uphold their responsibilities to end the violence in Syria and support the Syrian people in their desire for greater freedoms and political rights.

5. The EU reiterates its strong support to the Syrian people and encourages the Syrian opposition to establish a united platform and to continue to engage with the Arab League towards a successful transition. The EU will continue to actively engage with representative members of the Syrian opposition which adhere to non-violence, inclusiveness and democratic values. It welcomes the Syrian National Council’s commitments in this regard.

6. In light of the continued repression in Syria, the EU has decided today to place further restrictive measures targeting the regime’s ability to conduct its brutal repression. These new measures are related to the energy, financial, banking and trade sectors and include the listing of additional individuals and entities that are involved in the violence or directly supporting the regime. In line with the European Council Conclusions of 23 October, the EU will continue to impose additional and more comprehensive measures against the regime, not the civilian population, as long as the repression continues. The EU will continue to consult closely with the Arab League on this matter and calls on the international community to join its efforts and those of the Arab League to target those responsible for or associated with the violent repression and those who support or benefit from the regime.

7. As soon as President Assad steps aside and a genuine democratic transition begins, the EU is ready to develop a new and ambitious partnership with Syria across all areas of mutual interest, including by mobilizing assistance, and strengthening trade and economic links."

Ref. EU: 17720/11