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European countries call for new sanctions on Iran

Britain, France and Germany request tougher sanctions against Iran, while President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promises his country will defend itself against foreign threats.

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flashes the V-sign for victory as he waits for the arrival of Ismail Haniya, Palestinian Hamas premier in the Gaza Strip, for a meeting in Tehran on February 12, 2012. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Three European countries have asked for new EU sanctions on Iran over its nuclear activities, according to Agence France Presse.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany want tougher measures than those already in place, an unnamed diplomatic source told the news agency, without giving further details. 

The EU has already imposed far-ranging economic sanctions on Iran, including an oil embargo. As GlobalPost reported earlier this month, Iran's isolation has helped push its currency, the rial, to an all-time low against the dollar.

The EU's foreign ministers are due to discuss increasing the pressure at a meeting in Brussels on October 15.

More from GlobalPost: Iran's currency plunges to record low

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in New York this week, where he will address the United Nations headquarters on Wednesday.

After meeting Ahmadinejad yesterday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Iran to "take the measures necessary to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program," and cautioned against using "inflammatory rhetoric."

Iran doesn't seem to have got the memo. Yesterday a senior Iranian military commander warned that an Israeli attack on Iran would trigger "World War Three," while Ahmadinejad told CNN that "Any nation has the right and will indeed defend herself."

The Iranian president appeared to show a more amenable side to the US, telling the Associated Press that "it was not too late for dialogue with the United States to resolve differences."

Propositions have included limiting Iran's uranium enrichment activities in exchange for international acceptance that its nuclear program is, as Tehran insists, peaceful. 

Ahmedinejad was skeptical, though, that any deal would be struck before the US election, he told the Washington Post.

More from GlobalPost: Ahmadinejad travels to UN for final address

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120924/european-countries-call-new-sanctions-iran