Russia has condemned a decision by the European Union (EU) to impose tougher sanctions against Iran, warning such measures will only make things worse with regards to Tehran’s nascent nuclear program and undermine the diplomatic process.

All 27 EU foreign ministers agreed to an embargo on Iranian oil imports during a meeting in Brussels. The body also agreed to stop all trade in gold and other precious metals with Iranian state institutions.

In a statement on Monday, the foreign ministry in Moscow said: It's apparent that in this case there is open pressure and diktat, aimed at 'punishing' Iran for uncooperative behavior. This is a deeply mistaken policy, as we have told our European partners more than once. Under pressure of this sort, Iran will not make any concessions or any corrections to its policies.

The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the sanctions, citing that “unilateral sanctions don’t help matters.”

Lavrov also said he hopes that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear ambitions can re-start soon.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which warned late last year that Iran is developing atomic weapons, confirmed that officials of the body will visit Teheran at the end of this month in order to resolve all outstanding substantive issues related to Iran’s nuclear activities.