European Union leaders on Friday urged Iran to
decide if it wants "serious" talks on its disputed nuclear
programme, as rhetoric between the two sides ratcheted up ahead of
the entry into force of an embargo on Iranian oil Sunday.
A day earlier, Iranian chief negotiator Saeid Jalili had warned that the EU sanctions on oil imports would harm the nuclear talks.
"The European Council welcomes the full entry into force of the EU embargo," the bloc's 27 leaders retorted in joint conclusions following a two-day summit in Brussels.
"The council urges Iran to decide whether it is willing to commit to a serious negotiation progress aimed at restoring the confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme," they added. "Iran has to engage constructively."
The last round of negotiations in Moscow between Iran and the 5+1 group - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States - ended without any results. The two sides agreed to meet again on Tuesday in Istanbul, but only at the working group level.
The EU oil embargo will put an end to all European import contracts, following a ban on new deals with Iran earlier this year. It will also prevent European firms from providing insurance to ships carrying Iranian oil.
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