West "vaccinated" Iran against sanctions: Khamenei

DUBAI Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:33am EDT

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to the media after presenting his identification papers to cast his ballot in the parliamentary election in Tehran March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei waves to the media after presenting his identification papers to cast his ballot in the parliamentary election in Tehran March 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Caren Firouz

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday dismissed harsher sanctions imposed on Iran this month over its disputed nuclear activity, saying the country was "100 times stronger" than before.

A European Union embargo on Iranian crude oil took full effect on July 1 - a joint effort with the United States to force Tehran to curb nuclear energy work the Western powers say is a camouflaged bid to develop bombs, which Tehran denies.

Prices of goods have soared and the Iranian rial has plunged in value as broader, deeper sanctions have been introduced this year targeting Iran's financial and energy sectors.

"The Iranian nation, through life, wealth and loved ones, has stood up to all plots and sanctions and has advanced to the extent that today we are 100 times stronger compared with 30 years ago," Khamenei told a women's conference in Tehran in a speech that was published on his official website.

"These days Westerners are being sensational about sanctions but they don't understand that they themselves vaccinated Iran through their sanctions imposed over the last 30 years," he said. Iran's Islamic Revolution a little over three decades ago toppled the U.S.-backed shah.

Iranian officials regularly shrug off sanctions, saying they have little or no effect on the country. But a combination of increasing unemployment, substantial price rises and rampant inflation is creating tough new challenges for the government.

Industry sources say Iran's oil exports have declined in the wake of the EU crude ban and extensive U.S. diplomatic efforts to get Iran's main customers to cut their imports.

The United States imposed sanctions in 1979, soon after the Islamic Revolution that overthrew its monarchy. Successive U.S. administrations have added to the embargo, effectively creating a near total ban on any trade between it and Iran.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed four rounds of international sanctions specifically targeting Iran's nuclear activities. Tehran says its uranium enrichment program is for peaceful energy purposes only.

Six world powers and Iran have had several rounds of negotiations on how to defuse concerns over its nuclear ambitions this year but found no common ground for a deal.

Senior diplomats from the EU and Iran will meet on July 24 for technical talks to try to salvage diplomatic efforts to resolve the decade-long standoff.

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (4)
jason1234gh wrote:
I like how delusional these whackos are.
Just like when we were breathing down Saddam’s throat and Iraq was broadcasting “We are winning” LOL. You could blow up all their nuke sites and Iran would say “The west did us a huge favor and propelled our bomb making ahead 100 times forward” Talk about denial. Who do they think they are fooling?

Jul 11, 2012 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
LTN70 wrote:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sounds very much like Obama…even when things are going down, he just keeps on saying everything is alright. Kids haven’t eaten in three days…everything is alright…you’re feeling full.

Jul 11, 2012 10:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sassan31 wrote:
lol…he is quite funny.

Jul 11, 2012 12:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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