BRUSSELS –  The European Union formally adopted an oil embargo Monday against Iran and a freeze of the assets of the country’s central bank, part of sanctions meant to pressure the country to resume talks on its nuclear program.

Diplomats said the measures, which were adopted in Brussels by the EU’s 27 foreign ministers, include an immediate embargo on new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products, while existing contracts will be allowed to run until July.

EU diplomats are calling the measure part of a twin track approach toward Iran: increase sanctions to discourage what they suspect is Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons but emphasize at the same time the international community’s willingness to talk. Iran says its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

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