TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran reiterated on Tuesday that any new sanctions against Tehran by world powers will not halt the pursuit by the Islamic republic of its nuclear programme.
“Sanctions won’t have any impact on our activities,” said foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast at his weekly press conference when asked about the potential impact of possible new sanctions on Tehran.
“We do not find them a deterrent. The more the sanctions, the more determined we will be to pursue our rights,” he said in Farsi which was translated by state-owned English language Press Television channel.
Iran has steadfastly maintained that it has the right to pursue nuclear technology as it has signed on to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Washington is ratcheting up pressure to impose new sanctions against Tehran for aggressively pursuing nuclear technology, which they suspect is aimed at making an atom bomb.
Iran denies these allegations, saying its programme is purely for generating electricity.
In an interview with the New York Times, US President Barack Obama said he plans to place new restrictions on the use of atomic weapons as part of a major US nuclear policy overhaul but that he would make exceptions for “outliers like Iran and North Korea.”
“All countries, whether they’re nuclear weapons states, non-nuclear weapons states or aspiring nuclear weapons states, I think should be very clear about what our approach and our strategy is,” Obama said.
“And I do think that when you’re looking at outliers like Iran or North Korea, they should see that over the course of the last year and a half we have been executing a policy that will increasingly isolate them so long as they are operating outside of accepted international norms.”
Obama is to unveil his new nuclear strategy on Tuesday, two days before signing a treaty with Russia to slash stockpiles of long-range nuclear warheads by a third, and less than a week before hosting world leaders at a key nuclear summit in Washington.