Tehran: Western sanctions will neither compel Iran to change its policies nor make it relinquish its "rights", Iran`s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said Saturday.
"The sanctions put pressures on people but the pressures will not lead to a change in the policies" of the Islamic republic, and "the Westerners need to understand it", Zarif was quoted as saying by Tehran Times newspaper.
The US and its allies have imposed sanctions against Iran`s energy and financial sectors to force the country to stop its uranium enrichment activities, which they say are directed at military programmes, while Tehran has always insisted on their peaceful nature, Xinhua reported.
Acknowledging implicitly that sanctions bite and the economy of the country is paying tolls, Zarif said: "We are obliged to decrease pressures on people... sanctions hurt ordinary people, but the people do not expect the country to relinquish its rights".
Zarif slammed the West`s sanctions as "illegal", saying that Iran is determined to deal with them.
Commenting on the "concerns" over Iran`s nuclear program taken as a pretext for imposing sanctions on Iran`s economy and nuclear technology, Zarif said: "We do not think that nuclear weapons provide security for us. Nuclear weapons have no place in Iran`s doctrine, and not only it does not provide security for the country, but also it is a threat to our national security".