Tehran: The new European Union sanctions
against Iran will not deter its efforts to gain nuclear
technology, deputy foreign minister has told German officials,
state news agency IRNA reported Saturday.
IRNA said that Ali Ahani warned during a recent
meeting in Germany "that the new (EU) decision taken to
intensify sanctions... is destructive," coming at a time when
Tehran is deciding whether to respond to an EU offer of talks.
It said Ahani emphasised that EU sanctions "will in no
way affect the Iranian government and people's determination
to seek their legitimate right to exploit nuclear technology
under the supervision of the IAEA."
Iran maintains its nuclear programme is peaceful and
under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, the UN atomic watchdog. Western powers suspect it is
aimed at making weapons.
On June 9 the UN Security Council imposed a fourth set
of sanctions on the Islamic republic over its nuclear
programme. Soon after the UN move, EU foreign affairs chief
Catherine Ashton offered to hold talks with Tehran.
The UN measures were followed on Wednesday by a
separate set of restrictions imposed by the United States and
a day later by the European Union.
The EU sanctions include a ban on new investment,
technical assistance and technology transfers to Tehran's huge
gas and oil industry, particularly as regards refining and
liquefied natural gas.
They also target the transport, banking and insurance
sectors and slap new visa bans and asset freezes on the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
New US sanctions target insurance companies, oil firms
and shipping lines linked to Iran's atomic or missile
programmes as well as the IRGC and Defence Minister Ahmad
Before the EU move, parliament speaker Ali Larijani
had warned that Tehran would retaliate if the new measures
IRNA said that Larijani, speaking in the holy city of
Qom on Thursday, said: "If the European Union imposes
sanctions, Iran will consider retaliation."
First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 18:26