- The European Union announces oil sanctions
- "There are forces in the EU that seek to create tension," Iranian official says
- The U.S. has also imposed its own punitive action on Iran
Iran summoned Denmark's ambassador to Tehran to protest a decision by the European Union to impose sanctions on Iran's oil imports, the semiofficial Fars News Agency reported.
Iran protested to the ambassador Tuesday because Denmark now holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, the agency reported.
"There are forces in the EU that seek to create tension in the relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran by following the U.S. policies and adopting a hostile approach ," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Asqar Khaji said at the meeting, according to Fars.
The European Union announced Monday it would cut off oil imports from Iran and freeze assets in an effort to starve the country's nuclear program of funding.
The sanctions announced Monday freeze the assets of Iran's central bank in European Union nations and ban the importation of Iranian oil to those countries. The measures also block European Union countries from exporting petrochemical equipment and technology to Iran, or trading diamonds and precious metals with the Middle Eastern state.
Iran says its nuclear program is not military, but the United States and many of its allies suspect Iran intends to produce a bomb. The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has expressed similar concerns
The European Union will allow contracts that are already in place to be fulfilled until July 1, it said.
The U.S. government took its own punitive action regarding Iran on Monday, with the Treasury Department targeting the nation's third-largest bank, the state-owned Bank Tejarat, for allegedly working with other Iranian banks and firms subject to sanctions tied to Iran's nuclear program.