Iran prepared for `worst` on sanctions: Salehi

Last Updated: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 18:22

Tehran: Iran has prepared for "the worst
case scenario" to circumvent a toughening of Western sanctions
targeting its financial sector and oil industry, its foreign
minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an interview published
on Saturday.

"We are not really worried," Salehi told the official
IRNA news agency. "Appropriate responses have been prepared
for the worst case scenario, and we have devised a road map"
to circumvent new sanctions.

The remarks came after the US Congress approved a
tough new proposal to impose an embargo against Iran`s oil
exports and to cut off its central bank from the world
financial system, effectively seeking its collapse.

The European Union is considering similar measures of
its own.

Salehi did not elaborate how the "road map" would
envisage dealing with strengthened Western economic sanctions
in response to Tehran`s refusal to curb its controversial
nuclear programme.

But, he said, Iran has managed to "circumvent" Western
and UN sanctions since the 1979 Islamic revolution, while
acknowledging that "sanctions have their effect.

Iran is subject to four sets of UN sanctions designed
to force it to give up uranium enrichment, along with
additional, unilateral US and EU sanctions.

The West alleges Tehran is seeking to acquire a
weapons capability under the guise of its nuclear research
programme. But Iran denies the accusations, saying its work is
purely for civilian purposes.

Iranian officials in recent weeks have repeatedly
stated that the country was ready to face new sanctions
against its oil sector and its central bank.

"Iran does not fear a European embargo on its oil,"
said oil minister Rostam Qasemi in Vienna this week, whose
country is the second largest oil producer of the OPEC cartel.

Qasemi meanwhile predicted that such a move would
destabilise the market and be detrimental to the West.

"Tehran is fully prepared to deal with sanctions
targeting its central bank," said economy minister Shamseddin
Hosseini.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, December 17, 2011 - 18:22

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