Iran News ...


Minister: Iran to Turn Sanctions into Economic Opportunity

Source: Fars News Agency

Iranian Economy Minister Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini downplayed effectiveness of enemy embargoes and boycotts, and said Tehran has changed sanctions to economic capacities and opportunities and will continue moving on the same path.

Iran Sanctions Cartoon by R. Abhari

"Using the guidelines of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and setting up a special headquarters for confronting embargoes, all sanctions will be turned into economic capacities," Hosseini said on Monday night.

Lauding Iran's power and efforts, he said a number of the sanctions defused by Tehran had been described as crippling measures.

Iranian Economy Minister Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini
Iranian Economy Minister Seyed Shamseddin Hosseini

Hosseini's comments came after reports that the United States, Canada, and Britain were planning to announce a fresh set of sanctions against Iran, including sanctions on Tehran's petrochemicals sector.

Western pundits have also dismissed effectiveness and efficiency of sanctions against Iran.

The Council on Foreign Policy, a renowned American think tank, said in an analysis in October that sanctions against Iran have and will prove futile.

Author of the analysis, Jayshree Bajoria, reviewed the latest US policies on Iran, including the recent accusation about Iran's involvement in an assassination plot in the US and Washington's pressure on the IAEA to work out a very harsh tone in its next report on Iran, and said the recent moves by the White House are as President Obama has said aimed at intensifying sanctions on Iran.

"US President Barack Obama has vowed to 'apply the toughest sanctions and continue to mobilize the international community' to isolate Iran," Bajoria said.

The author further cited a new report from Washington-based think tank ISIS, and said according to the report the recent US-Israeli cyber war on Iran through the Stuxnet worm, assassination of several top Iranian nuclear scientists, and powerful sanctions have all failed to stop Iran's nuclear progress.

Further in the analysis, Bajoria notes the possible effects of further sanctions on Iran and quotes Charles D. Ferguson, president of the independent Federation of American Scientists, as saying that "broader sanctions such as those targeting the banking sector or the economy as a whole are misguided".

"US policy toward Tehran, which has included toughening of sanctions as well as offers of engagement and greater economic cooperation, has so far failed to persuade Tehran to halt uranium enrichment," the analysis continues.

In conclusion the author says, "Vali Nasr of Tufts University says there are limits to what sanctions can do to alter Iranian behavior, largely because the country has access to oil revenue that lessens the impact, and because Iran is accustomed to coping with sanctions.

"Further, some analysts express doubt that any new measures will persuade the Iranian government to give up its nuclear program. 'I don't see the Iranians retreating one iota on the nuclear program' (Reuters), said proliferation expert Shannon Kile at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute."

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