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Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:35PM
File photo shows an Iranian technician working on an oil installation.

File photo shows an Iranian technician working on an oil installation.

An Iranian lawmaker says Tehran expects friendly countries not to comply with the US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s energy sector. Spokesman of Iran Majlis Energy Committee Hossein Amiri-Khamkani on Sunday said that the approval of new anti-Iran sanctions by the US Congress was a move aimed at exerting pressure on the Islamic Republic. “We expect friendly countries not to comply with these sanctions because Iranians recognize their friends and enemies [when they are] in dire straits and under pressure,” he said. The new sanctions target Iran’s energy, shipping and shipbuilding industries as well as its seaports. “Oil buyers and long-time customers of Iran’s oil need our crude and they have to find a solution for [coping with] these sanctions,” added Amiri-Khamkani. The lawmaker went on to say, “They (oil-buyers) need to mount pressure on the West and the US until they stop such actions (imposing bans on Iran).” The lawmaker stated that if Iran’s oil buyers purchase oil and in return do not try to find ways to pay for it, Tehran will have to stop selling oil and halt exports to these countries. China is Iran's top trade partner and Beijing has publicly criticized the US-led sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear energy program, saying that it has to buy Iranian crude to meet its energy needs. South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil increased 2.9 percent in November compared to a month ago despite Western embargoes. At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union (EU) imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors. On October 15, the EU foreign ministers agreed on another round of sanctions against Iran. The illegal US-engineered sanctions have been imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Tehran’s nuclear energy program has been diverted toward military objectives. KA/HGH/SS
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