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Senior Legislator Dismisses US Sanctions against Iran

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 23 (ICANA) - A prominent Iranian lawmaker dismissed as ineffective the UN Security Council sanctions and the extra unilateral embargos imposed on Iran by the West, and said the sanctions policy has backfired as it has proved to be more detrimental to the West and its interests.
Monday, May 23, 2011 7:55:53 PM
Senior Legislator Dismisses US Sanctions against Iran

"We have always faced the problem of sanctions and embargos throughout the last 30 years, but nothing special has occurred inside the country and Iran will continue its way with a faster pace," Chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told the Iranian students news agency.

"Americans are aware that those who impose sanctions are the major loser," he added.

"Americans are aware that many of their firms are trying to secure their own interests and they will continue communications and contacts with Iranian companies in any possible way. So sanctions will not work that much influentially," the lawmaker added.

His remarks came after the United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on an Iranian state-owned bank, claiming that it is playing a role in funding the country's nuclear activities.

The US Department of the Treasury designated the Bank of Industry and Mine (BIM), claiming it has been used by the Iranian government to evade the US and international sanctions against Iranian financial institutions allegedly involved in facilitating transactions for the country's nuclear activities.

Iran says its nuclear program is a peaceful drive to produce electricity so that the world's fourth-largest crude exporter can sell more of its oil and gas abroad. Tehran also stresses that the country is pursuing a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

The US and its western allies allege that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program while they have never presented corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations against the Islamic Republic.

Iran is under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

Tehran says sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path.

Following US pressures on companies to stop business with Tehran, many western companies decided to do a balancing act. They tried to maintain their presence in Iran, which is rich in oil and gas, but not getting into big deals that could endanger their interests in the US.

Yet, after oil giants in the West witnessed that their absence in big deals has provided Chinese, Indian and Russian companies with excellent opportunities to sign up to an increasing number of energy projects and earn billions of dollars, they started showing increasing interest to invest or expand work in Iran.

Some European states have also recently voiced interest in investment in Iran's energy sector after the gas deal was signed between Iran and Switzerland regardless of US sanctions.

The National Iranian Gas Export Company and Switzerland's Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg signed a 25-year deal in March 2008 for the delivery of 5.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The biggest recent deal, worth €100m ($147m, £80m), was signed by Steiner Prematechnik Gastec, the German engineering company, this year to build equipment for three gas conversion plants in Iran.

In December 2010, the New York Times reported that over the past decade, United States-based companies have done billions of dollars in trade with Iran despite sanctions and trade embargoes imposed on Tehran.

One American company, the daily said, was permitted to do work on an Iranian gas pipeline, despite sanctions aimed at Iran's gas industry in particular.

The transactions have been made possible by a 2000 law that allows exemptions from sanctions for companies selling food or medical products, the report added.

Iranian officials have always stressed that the International and unilateral sanctions against Iran have had no result but inflicting damage on the European companies.

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