In a victory for Obama administration multilateral diplomacy and a significant setback for Iran, the European Union today announced an embargo on Iranian oil. The Associated Press reports:
The European Union and Iran raised the stakes Monday in their test of wills over the Islamic republic’s nuclear program, with the bloc banning the purchase of Iranian oil and Iran threatening to retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s crude is transported…The EU’s 27 foreign ministers, meeting Monday in Brussels, imposed an oil embargo against Iran and froze the assets of its central bank, ramping up sanctions designed to pressure Iranian officials into resuming talks on the country’s nuclear program.
Whether Iran will follow through on its renewed threats at Hormuz–it has blinked already once–remains to be seen. Tehran appears more disposed to sulk than to shoot. But, as Via Meadia has reminded our readers before, the enemy always gets a vote, and Iran is no exception. Stay tuned.