Saturday Nov 26, 201106:56 AM GMT
'UK sanctions on CBI, ineffective'
Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:58AM
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Head of the Economic Committee of Iran's Majlis Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam
An Iranian lawmaker says a recent decision by Britain to cut off all financial relations with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) will have no economic impact on the Islamic Republic.

Head of the Economic Committee of Iran's Majlis Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam told ICANA news agency on Friday that Iran has had low-level financial ties with the British Central Bank and the Islamic Republic will not incur any losses from Britain's sanctions on the CBI.

He added that Britain had been pursuing a low-profile economic approach towards Iran prior to imposing the recent sanctions against the CBI. The new anti-Iran measure would therefore not change anything, the Iranian legislator pointed out.

Mesbahi Moghaddam also noted that the severance of relations between financial and credit institutions of the UK and Iranian banks may even turn into economic opportunities.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast dismissed the new sanctions on November 22, saying that they would only serve to unite Iranians behind their country's nuclear program.

"Such measures are condemned by our people and will be in vain. They will have no impact on Iran's trade and economic ties with other countries," Mehmanparast said.

The United States, Britain and Canada announced new measures against Iran's energy and financial sectors on November 21, and France proposed new sanctions, including the freezing of CBI assets and suspending the purchase of Iranian oil.

Russia condemned the sanctions and said they were "extraterritorial measures, unacceptable and contradictory to international law.”

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies accuse Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear program, and have used this pretext to push the UN to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refuted the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence indicating that Iran's civilian nuclear program has been diverted towards nuclear weapons production.

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