Tougher new oil sanctions against by the European Union are “doomed to fail,” the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry said Monday.
Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast declared in a statement: The method of threat, pressure and unfair sanctions against a nation that has a strong reason for its approach is doomed to fail and that such sanctions will fail to prevent Iran from achieving its inalienable right to peacefully use nuclear energy.
The Iranians have also warned that such sanctions would push up the price of crude.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday agreed unanimously to tighten the screws on Iran in order to dissuade Tehran from its alleged nuclear weapons program. The new sanctions will prohibit oil imports from Iran and will also freeze the European assets of Iran’s central bank.
Mehmanparast also intimated that the EU is simply bowing to pressure from the United States, which recently approved stricter economic sanctions against Iran’s oil industry.
It seems the American authorities want to disrupt the energy sources of their rivals and weaken their economic rivals under the pretext of piling up political pressure on Iran, he said.
European officials and other countries which are under America's political pressure... should consider their national interests and not deprive themselves of Iran's oil to help U.S. officials achieve their secret aims.”
The spokesman also suggested that Europe might not even abide by its own sanctions, given the precarious state of the continent’s economy. Moreover he suggested that Iran could easily find other buyers for its vast petroleum reserves.
Jonathan Marcus, BBC’s diplomatic correspondent, commented: “So once the new measures are in place, how successful will they be? Even Western diplomats are uncertain. There is no doubting that the Iranian economy will suffer. But the nuclear program is a matter of national pride and ultimately national security.”
Marcus added: “Iran has seen the demise of regimes in Iraq and Libya and noted the survival of that in North Korea -- the one so-called 'rogue state' that has nuclear weapons. Iran's rulers may well believe that having at least the potential for a nuclear bomb is something that could secure the country against outside threat. Seen in this light one can imagine the Iranian authorities being willing to absorb considerable economic pain to pursue their nuclear research effort.”
According to reports, Greece, Spain and Italy depend on oil from Iran. Fully one-third of Greece’s oil comes from the Islamic Republic, while for Spain and Italy the figures are 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
On the whole, about 20 percent of the EU’s oil imports originates in Iran.