Tehran: Iran`s powerful Revolutionary Guard says it`s "not worried" by the latest wave of UN sanctions imposed over Tehran`s controversial nuclear program.
The force`s senior commander, Gen. Hossein Salami, says Iran has shaped its defense capabilities "on the basis of worst-case scenarios" and that the new sanctions won`t stop Iran`s nuclear program.
His remarks — reported on Monday by the official IRNA news agency — were the Guard`s first reaction to the latest UN measure.
The new sanctions include a freeze on the assets of 40 additional companies and organizations — including 15 linked to the Guard and 22 involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities.
The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge.
Earlier officials say EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited Iran`s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to talks on his country`s nuclear program.
A diplomat who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue says Iran is expected to respond positively to the proposal, with the talks being held sometime over the summer.
Ashton wrote to Jalili after the UN Security Council imposed fresh sanctions on Iran for refusing to negotiate on its suspected nuclear program. Iran denies Western accusations that it is covertly developing nuclear weapons.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg are also looking at imposing their own set of sanctions against Tehran. A draft document says these should target the financial and transport sectors, as well as investments in its oil industry.