The EU today formally agreed a new set of sanctions against Iran, including an asset freeze targeting the country's biggest bank.
The measures - imposed in response to Tehran's nuclear programme - had been discussed during George Bush's recent visit to Europe.
They were finalised without debate at the start of a two-day meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg.
The new sanctions include a freeze on assets and funds connected to Bank Melli, Iran's biggest bank.
The bank, which has offices in London, Hamburg and Paris, will not be permitted to operate in Europe.
It has been accused of providing services connected to Iran's nuclear programme, and was placed on a US blacklist last year.
Other new measures include a travel ban on some experts dealing with nuclear work, with a full list of companies and people affected by asset freezes and visa bans to be published tomorrow.
The move follows a series of sanctions imposed by the UN against Iran since 2006 in an attempt to persuade it to end a programme of uranium enrichment.
The US and EU fear the programme is part of plans to make nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists it only wants to generate civilian nuclear power.
Imposition of the new sanctions was delayed prior to a visit to Iran by the EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.
Solana presented a renewed deal from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US, involving helping Iran to build "light water" reactors and supplying nuclear fuel in return for a suspension of uranium enrichment.
Although the policy chief said on Friday that he was still awaiting a formal response, a spokesman for the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, last week rejected the conditions as "unacceptable" and "not debatable at all
Click to view image: '194281-imagesCAPLQTPN.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|