TEHRAN. Iran said yesterday it was ready to return to talks on a nuclear fuel swap, a surprise that came shortly after the European Union agreed tougher sanctions, including a block on oil and gas investment.

 

EU foreign ministers approved a range of extra restrictions that went well beyond U.N. sanctions agreed last month and included a ban on dealing with Iranian banks and insurance companies and steps to prevent investment in Tehran’s lucrative oil and gas sector, including refining.