Iran: We can withstand sanctions
May 21st, 2012
06:49 AM ET

Iran: We can withstand sanctions

As Iran gets set to meet again with the U.S. and other countries to negotiate its nuclear program, the country's economic minister insisted in an interview Sunday with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that the crippling sanctions imposed on Iran were not having as much of an impact as believed.

Minister Shamseddin Hosseini argued that his country has a much broader economy than just oil.

"Last year, the total non-oil exports increased by 30 percent and according to the latest reports that the International Monetary Fund has published, Iran's GDP - Iran's per capita income has also increased," Hosseini said in the interview on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Zakaria pressed Hosseini on the argument, asking how it could be that the country is not affected when 80% of its foreign revenues come from foreign sales of oil.

Here is a transcript of the exchange:

ZAKARIA: You're telling me that these restrictions on oil, particularly if the European Union goes through with them, the Indians say they're buying less from you, the Japanese say they are buying less form you, these are not going to affect you, 80 percent of your external revenues come from oil.

HOSSEINI: We must pay close to attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales. Who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions?

Indeed, it is difficult, but not just for Iran. And we can all rest assured that there will be a considerable increase in international oil market prices. Now, is this the best approach?

ZAKARIA: Just to be clear because this is very important, you think that if the European Union goes through with the oil embargo, which is slated to go into effect in July, oil prices will go up very substantially?

HOSSEINI: Certain, certainly. Even the IMF says that as a result of these sanctions, oil prices will perhaps reach and hover around $160 per barrel. And the decrease in financial and economic output in Europe will truly be felt.

ZAKARIA: How long can you endure these kind of sanctions because they are affecting your banks, they're affecting, now, the Senate is passing ones relating to the oil - the tanker business.

How long can you continue to withstand these sanctions?

HOSSEINI: We have been the subject, the target of sanctions for the last 33 years. We never went looking for these sanctions, but during the last few years, of course, the volume of these sanctions have increased tremendously.

And we believe that those who impose the sanctions have exerted the maximum level of pressure they have been capable of, but the reality that is showing itself today is that the capacities and the economic specialties and strengths of Iran are such that can cause a backlash - an economic backlash for the imposers of these sanctions and their countries.

This really shows that the economy - economic strength of Iran is in such a way that can withstand these sanctions and will not be the only economy to suffer.

ZAKARIA: So if - but if these sanctions do cost you a lot, cost the average Iranian a lot, why not allow the IAEA inspectors in, say to them you can go to every facility including the ones that we have previously not allowed you to.

We have nothing to hide. You can see all our nuclear programs and certify that it's peaceful and once you get that certification, these sanctions will get lifted.

HOSSEINI: We have said time and time again that we will not give up this unalienable right. We are a member - full signatory and abiding member of the IAEA.

There are conversations and dialogues taking place currently, but there cannot be a hegemony and a double-standard in the treatment of member countries such as Iran.

If these principles can be understood and applied with mutual respect, I think we will be in a much better place.

ZAKARIA: Final question, what will the price of oil be in August of this year?

HOSSEINI: I believe that we must, at least, in order to have sustainable growth for the producers maintain prices at $100 per barrel. But keep in mind the following, can the industrial powers get out of the current situation they're in with these prices?

Therefore, the answer being obvious, the prices will go considerably higher than $100 per barrel. If we see reforms - tangible reforms in this behavior, we will be in a much better place. If we don't, we will witness an increase in international oil markets.

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Filed under: EU • Europe • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran • Sanctions
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Iran

    TEHRAN – The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations has said that Tehran will not negotiate with the major powers over its inalienable rights.

    Ambassador Mohammad Khazaii made the remarks during an interview with the Washington-based radio network NPR on February 9.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to engage in negotiations with the 5+1 group (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany), but it will not negotiate over its inalienable rights, Khazaii stated.

    Furthermore, Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is not after acquiring military atomic technology but resolute to continue with its nuclear energy program.

    We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” he added.
    IT IS THE INALIENABLE RIGHT OF EVERY SOVEREIGN STATE IN THE WORLD, INCLUDING IRAN AS STATED IN NPT TO ENRICH URANIUM.
    Iran is determined to continue nuclear energy program, US sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities have been ineffective.

    He also said that Tehran will send a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the six major powers in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

    Iran is ready to hold serious talks without preconditions, he added.

    IRAN WILL REFUSE A BILETERAL MEETING WITH US DUE TO NO-DIPLOMATIC-RELATIONSHIP, SANCTIONS, US RHETORICS TO BOMB IRAN AND FLORIDA, AFGHANISTAN QURAN BURNINGS.

    But those who think that Iran will change its logical and principled policy under the pressure of sanctions, threats are mistaken, Khazaii said, adding that the Islamic Republic has never made concessions on its absolute rights.

    Israel's undeclared nuclear weapons pose the greatest threat to Mideast peace and accused the United States and other nuclear powers of hypocritically ignoring their disarmament commitments, he said.

    Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty rules, Iran is not required to allow inspectors into its military bases, on January 13, 2005, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors were allowed "partial access" to the Parchin military base as a confidence-building measure.Since 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has requested further inspections of the site, but has been denied access by the Iranian government.

    Tehran will not give the International Atomic Energy Agency a blank check for inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA says.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
  2. Iran

    Article IV of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
    1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.

    2. All the Parties to the Treaty undertake to facilitate, and have the right to participate in, the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Parties to the Treaty in a position to do so shall also co-operate in contributing alone or together with other States or international organizations to the further development of the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, especially in the territories of non-nuclear-weapon States Party to the Treaty, with due consideration for the needs of the developing areas of the world.

    Article X. Establishes the right to withdraw from the Treaty giving 3 months' notice. It also establishes the duration of the Treaty (25 years before 1995 Extension Initiative).

    UN CHARTER VII ARTICLE 51:
    Provides for the right of countries to engage in military action in self-defense, including collective self-defense (i.e. under an alliance) FOR IRAN TO RETALIATE WITH EQUAL FORCE IF ATTACKED.

    EVERYTHING ELSE IS JUST ANTI IRAN, ANTI ISLAM BS CREATED BY US ON BEHALF OF UNBREAKABLE BOND ISRAEL.

    11 months ago, Iran working on trigger for nukes, U.N. agency reports unsubstantiated by JTA, The information about the technology was part of a nine-page report on Iran's nuclear progress. The report did not indicate where the information came from nor provide any details, according to the Times.

    Now The assosiated press exclisively reports A drawing based on information from inside an Iranian military site shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that U.N. inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted there. But, the report is unsubstantiated again.

    ElBaradei: US, Europe Weren’t Interested in Compromise With Iran
    Officials Withheld Key Info From IAEA Chief in Push for Regime Change
    by Jason Ditz, April 20, 2011

    Former IAEA Chief and current Egyptian Presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei has given a high profile interview to Der Spiegel this week. Though the interview largely centers around domestic politics, it also delves into his IAEA experience, particularly with respect to the attempts to broker a deal on Iran.

    ElBaradei reported that he was “on the verge of a solution on several occasions” and that politics had always foiled the efforts. In particular he accused US and European officials of withholding important documents.

    “They weren’t interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change – by any means necessary,” reported ElBaradei. He also noted the difficulty of trying to broker talks under these circumstances.

    ElBaradei is releasing his memoirs of his time as IAEA chief in a book to be released next month. It is expected to detail his diplomatic efforts with Iraq (before the 2003 US invasion) as well as Iran and North Korea.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
  3. Hahahahahaha

    Just wait till we cut off that beastiality porn!!!! Hahahahahahahaha

    May 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  4. Yiannis

    The reason for all these problems is oil. The sooner we get rid of our oil addiction and replace it with green sustainable energy, the better off we'll be. That will also force these nations to modernize and develop their economies instead of using their resources as a political leverage and to suppress their people. Every gallon of fuel you are saving is helping achieve this target.

    May 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  5. Pudendal Cleft

    Good for Iran.

    May 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  6. Parker

    Here's the thing with Iran. They want nuclear technology so that they can be taken seriously on the world stage. It's a technology that brings with it the defacto inclusion into the swinging dick parade of all nuclear nations. The risk in appeasing them and allowing them to develop nuclear facilities is if they succeed, yet still aren't given what they feel is their fair inclusion into world affairs, it could frustrate and seduce them to use military force against a neighbor. Being that the region is in such a delicate (US maintained) system of checks and balances, it is critical to acknowledge that such a situation would light a very long tangled network of fuses; almost impossible to stomp them all out before they burn down to the keg.

    May 21, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  7. Everett Wallace

    well iran, i'll tell you this with all that has taken place against your nation you are stronger than any other nation, by this time everyone else would have folded, i give you your props.

    May 21, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  8. Loyal voter

    Well, I don't believe you can withstand sanctions because our historical first bi president and the smartest woman in the world, Hillary for president 2016, told me that sanctions were working and so long as Israel doesn't attack before November elections gas prices will stay down.

    May 21, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply

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