The EU agreed Monday to impose new sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program, banning the country's major commercial bank, Bank Melli, from operating in Europe. The measures, which will stop the operations of the bank at its offices in London, Hamburg and Paris, were approved during a meeting of EU agriculture and fisheries ministers in Luxembourg.
"We flatly reject [the EU's] illegal and discriminatory approach, which has been displayed at a time when we [Iran] have put forward a package of proposals," Ali Hosseini, a spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, said.
Tehran submitted in May to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana a range of solutions to nuclear non-proliferation and other international security issues, including on how to resolve international concern over Iran's nuclear program.
"Such an approach will have the opposite effect and will not help create an atmosphere for a diplomatic resolution to the situation," Hosseini said.
The so-called Iran Six - the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany - have called on Iran to impose a moratorium on uranium enrichment prior to any talks on the issue.
Iran is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment, which it says it needs purely for electricity generation despite Western accusations that the program is geared toward weapon production.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, has been investigating Iran's nuclear activity for more than five years, but has been unable to determine whether its nuclear program has military ramifications.