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EU approves sanctions on Iranians over Denmark, France attack plots

Brussels - The European Union agreed Tuesday to impose sanctions on Iranians believed to be involved in planned attacks in Denmark and France.

"EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian intelligence service for its assassination plots on European soil. Strong signal from the EU that we will not accept such behaviour in Europe," Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen wrote on Twitter.

"Very encouraging that EU has just agreed on new targeted sanctions against Iran in response to hostile activities and plots being planned and perpetrated in Europe, including Denmark," Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen later tweeted.

The sanctions target two Iranian individuals and one entity, diplomatic sources confirmed to dpa.

In October, Danish police accused Tehran of planning to carry out attacks in Denmark on Iranian exiles belonging to a banned opposition group.

Earlier last year, authorities across Europe also thwarted an alleged bomb plot targeting a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition movement near Paris.

The revelations have strained relations between Tehran and the European Union, which has been working hard to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, after the United States withdrew from the accord aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

The EU has managed to make a "clear difference" between the two issues, Samuelsen said ahead of a meeting Tuesday of EU ministers for European Affairs in Brussels, where the decision to impose sanctions was formalized.

"We stand by the [nuclear] agreement, but on the other hand we have to have a robust foreign policy when we send clear signals that [we] will not accept this kind of interference on European soil," Samuelsen said.