This file photo shows a stretch of the pipeline carrying natural gas from Iran to neighboring Turkey.
An Iranian legislator has shrugged off the European Union (EU)’s threat to ban natural gas imports from Iran, saying the Islamic Republic would adopt “preemptive” sanctions in retaliation for the European bloc’ hostile policy.
“Under the present circumstances, Iran exports no gas to Europe and this recent sanction against Iran merely serves psychological and propaganda purposes,” Mohammad Saleh-Jokar, a member of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said on Sunday.
“These sanctions would leave no impact on the country’s economy and would have no benefit for Europe other than creating a psychological anti-Iran mood in the global diplomacy atmosphere,” he said.
Saleh-Jokar noted that the Iranian people already know the objectives that the Europeans are following by imposing anti-Iran sanctions.
“With the advent of the cold season, Europe and the West would need Iran’s oil and gas. Europe has already suffered huge losses due to its anti-Iran embargos including oil ban [on Iran] and some of the crises that the European economy [is grappling with] stem from these sanctions,” the lawmaker said.
Western diplomats said Thursday that the EU is ready to ban imports of Iranian gas.
They said they were preparing a package of sanctions that consists of finance and energy-related proposals, including bans on Iran’s gas, as part of measures to mount pressure on Iran over its nuclear energy program.
The package will be presented at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on October 15 in Luxembourg.
The US and the EU have imposed unilateral financial and energy sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program, claiming that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy work.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.