Iran says new U.S. sanctions will complicate nuclear issue

DUBAI Tue Jul 2, 2013 4:18am EDT

1 of 2. A Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL Group) container is seen on the German-owned cargo vessel 'Smaragd' at Malta Freeport in the Port of Marsaxlokk outside Valletta February 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has played down the impact of U.S. sanctions that came into effect this week, but said the measures would complicate a resolution to the dispute over its nuclear program.

The new sanctions, which came into effect on Monday, target trade with Iran's shipping and automobile sectors, gold sales to Iran and handling of the Iranian currency, the rial - a further attempt to force Tehran to curb its nuclear activities.

In recent years, Iran has vigorously pursued its development of nuclear technology which Western countries suspect is masking its attempts to develop a weapons capability, allegations Iranian officials have repeatedly denied.

"We have no doubt that sanctions are a broken policy and we are surprised about why the American government and other governments who take part in these sanctions continually repeat a mistaken and failed policy," the state television website quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi as saying late on Monday.

"Removing sanctions would count as a confidence-building measure and can assist in a resolution of the issue but increasing sanctions would have no result, apart from making the issue more complex and harder to resolve," he said.

Hopes for a resolution to the nuclear dispute were boosted last month with the election as president of Hassan Rouhani, a former nuclear negotiator who promises a softer approach to foreign relations than hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Analysts say it remains uncertain whether Iran with Rouhani as president will be more amenable to the demands of world powers that it halt its most sensitive enrichment, to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, and stop work at Fordow, an underground nuclear facility where uranium is enriched.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has the last word on all the big decisions in Iran, especially on the nuclear issue.

Last week the head of Iran's atomic energy organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, said there would be no change in Iran's production of enriched uranium to produce fuel.

But in an interview with Iran's state news agency on Tuesday, the organization's former head Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said that Iran's nuclear issue was "in the 90th minute" and that both Western countries and Iran needed to enter serious talks.

With Rouhani not taking office until early August, analysts say any further nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - are likely to be held before September.

(Writing by Marcus George; Editing by Jon Hemming and Alison Williams)

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Comments (4)
kenradke60 wrote:
Iran is not going to follow diplomacy period and political dialog died years ago. Just go in there and ATTACK their nuclear installations period! Quit pussy footing around with failed sanctions that are only hurting the people and not the Government.

Jul 02, 2013 4:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
TomMariner wrote:
You guys are actually listening to and printing this trash of “let’s talk” out of Iran after literally hundreds of times of delaying tactics? Read “1001 Arabian Nights” where a young princess becomes a heroine by literally talking a Sheikh out of killing her every night.

You’ll get the point when you see the bright light and a few square miles disappears in this big cloud. And the derisive laughter — “Suckers!”. The current folks in charge feel it is their birthright to conquer and lead!

Jul 02, 2013 5:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Thompson_TX wrote:
Why should Iran believe a word that US says. Nothing can ever be said about the Zionist and their 200 WMDs. Nothing is said or done about Pakistan and India.

The US is a fascist state serving multinational corporations. We owe China a trillion dollars and we’re telling them how to handle North Korea and reprimanding them publicly for how they handled Snowden.

The US Machine has lost it’s frickin’ mind. The US is $17 trillion in debt — it doesn’t own the world, the world owns it. The US can’t manage it’s own affairs, why should anyone let it tell them how to run their’s?

Jul 02, 2013 8:50am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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