DUBAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Tough new European Union sanctions on Iran will not force Tehran back into negotiations with world powers over its nuclear programme, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
“We think the error in calculation which these countries are pursuing will distance them from a favourable result,” ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.
“We recommend that, instead of taking the wrong approach and being stubborn and using pressure, ... with a logical approach they can return to discussions.”
The European Union agreed further sanctions against Iran’s banking, shipping, and industrial sectors on Monday in the hope of drawing it into serious negotiations on its nuclear programme.
The EU decision reflected mounting concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme, which the West suspects is aimed at giving Iran the potential to build a nuclear bomb, and over Israeli threats to attack Iranian atomic installations if sanctions and diplomacy fail to lead to a peaceful solution.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday that she hoped turning up the heat on the Islamic Republic would persuade it to make concessions and that negotiations could resume “very soon”.
But Mehmanparast rejected that possibility, saying “illogical” and “inhumane” sanctions would only make Iran more determined in its stance. Iran insists it has the right to enrich uranium for power generation or medical purposes, and says its programme has no military purpose.
“They don’t know the spirit of the Iranian nation,” Mehmanparast said. “These steps are mistakes and will have no results for them.”