TEHRAN, July 5- Iranian officials have called Western sanctions “unproductive” and threatened to take legal action against embargo.
Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi dismissed Western sanctions against the country as “unproductive”, Press TV reported on Wednesday. Iran has been under sanction pressures by the “aggressive powers” for years, Rahimi said, adding that the ‘enemies do not have a factual understanding of the Iranian nation and continue to perceive that by imposing sanctions they can disrupt the progress of this nation.’
“The sanctions not only fail to impede the progress of the Iranian nation, but they also lay the ground for self-sufficiency and development,” said Rahimi during a meeting with an Iranian aerospace industry work group on Tuesday. He also pointed to the existing capacities in Iran’s aerospace industry and expressed optimism that the industry will soon witness a “fresh” leap, according to the report.
The United States and the European Union (EU) have imposed several rounds of sanctions to pressure Iran to give up its uranium enrichment activities. On Sunday, an EU oil embargo against Iran took effect, days after some fresh U.S. sanctions started prohibiting the world’s banks from conducting oil transactions with Iran’s banks. The chief of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture said that Iran may take legal action at the International Court of Justice (The Hague) against Western sanctions, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.
Mohammad Nahavandian said unilateral sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic by the West are against international law. An Iranian lawmaker reiterated the threats that the Islamic republic would close the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf if the Western sanctions against Iran increase, the semi- official Fars news agency reported on Wednesday. “If we completely go under the sanctions, we will not let a single drop of oil pass through the Hormuz Strait,” Arsalan Fathipour, head of the Economic Commission of Iranian Majlis ( parliament), was quoted as saying. Hormuz Strait is the world’s most strategically important sea passage to the open ocean where about 20% of the world’s oil, which totals to approximately 35% of seaborne oil passes to the rest of the world.
Another Iranian lawmaker, Ebrahim Agha-Mohammadi, said on Monday that the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran’s Majlis had prepared a bill which called for the closure of the 39 km wide Strait of Hormuz in response to the recent European Union (EU) oil embargo on Iran. Agha-Mohammadi said that the bill called on the government to block the Strait of Hormuz to stop the oil tankers which would ship crude oil to the countries that had joined the oil sanctions against Iran. Some Iranian government and military officials have already threatened to use all means, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, if the Western sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear activities halt Iran’s exports and hurt the interests of the Islamic republic.
Tehran denied the U.S. and European allegations that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, insisting that its nuclear program is for “peaceful” purposes. Russia said Wednesday Iran’s right to uranium enrichment could be recognized if the country put its nuclear program under international control. “The right (of Iran) to enrichment and the recognition of that right must come in exchange for putting the Iranian nuclear program under comprehensive international control,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters here.
Ryabkov said Moscow was satisfied with the results of the expert-level talks between Iran and the six world powers in Turkey ‘s Istanbul. “As a whole, we are satisfied with the results, but I can’t say a breakthrough or leap or decisive progress was reached. Additional efforts must be applied,” he said, adding the Istanbul talks were not a repetition of the Moscow or Baghdad rounds. Meanwhile, Ryabkov said closing the gap between the sides was a ‘very complicated business.’ “However, we don’t think the contacts in Istanbul were a failure. On the contrary, there are grounds to speak about some progress,” he said.
Iran and the P5+1 group, including Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany, held a new round of nuclear talks on Tuesday, trying to explore common ground for full-fledged talks after previous meetings failed to produce any breakthrough. Iran’s nuclear chief Fereydoun Abbasi has expressed hope that the six major world powers will take technical talks over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program seriously