Details of the sanctions were released Tuesday.
The sanctions ban the purchase or shipping of crude oil and petrol products from Iran, as well as the supply of financial services, insurance, training or equipment for Iranian energy companies, and the buying of new shares in energy firms.
In addition to the energy sanctions, there are prohibitions placed on precious metals and diamond trade and a blacklist of 10 shipping firms allegedly involved in nuclear development as well as the state-owned banks of Iran.
However, EUObserver reports the long list of exemptions, both temporary and permanent, may undermine the effectiveness of the sanctions.
Examples of the exemptions include: Oil and petroleum bans will not go into effect until July 1; some deals on financial services, equipment and joint ventures, signed before July 26, 2010, will be exempt; some such deals signed before Jan. 23 of this year will be also exempt; Contracts on petro-chemical products are permitted to run until May 1.