Iran claims country is `stronger` after sanctions

Iran is stronger after a host of international sanctions.

Washington: Iran is stronger after a host of
international sanctions, the country`s finance minister
Shamseddin Hosseini asserted in Washington.

"After these sanctions we are a much stronger country,"
said Hosseini yesterday, striking a resolute tone amid
international curbs on trade with Islamic Republic and
sanctions against firms and individuals linked to the
country`s controversial nuclear programme.

He acknowledged that the sanctions "cause some kind of
problem for us." But he said, "When people solve problems,
they get stronger. Today, we are much stronger," he said.

Hosseini was speaking in the US capital on the fringes of
a meeting of the International Monetary Fund`s 187 members.

His visit comes just over a week after President Barack
Obama ordered sanctions against eight senior Iranian officials
for alleged human rights abuses during the crackdown against
those protesting the 2009 elections.

Regardless, Hosseini claimed there was no difficulty in
trading or securing hard currency to trade with.
"The world is big and the people who are trading (with
us) find ways to transfer money."

Questioned about how Iran finds dollars on open markets,
he responded: "There is no substantive obstacle regarding

Yet despite Hosseini`s claims, evidence in Iran suggests
sanctions are taking a toll.

Most banks in the UAE, Iran`s main trading partner, have
stopped money transfers there since August after similar
decisions by the US and the EU over Tehran`s nuclear

Iranian banks have gradually refused to sell individuals
hard currency in recent weeks without explanation or any
government announcement.


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