US sanctions will not change Iran’s policies: deputy FM

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said while US sanctions may affect Iran’s oil sales and banking transactions, they will not change the Islamic Republic’s policies.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi arrived in Rome on Nov. 15 to hold talks with senior Italian officials on expansion of bilateral relations, particularly with respect to the JCPOA and ways to preserve trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Italy in the face of US sanctions.

While in Rome, he was interviewed by Spanish national daily newspaper ABC, which asked him about the impact of US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran.

Araghchi said since the election of President Trump and even before the sanctions came into effect, there was a psychological impact due to the uncertainty of doing business with Iran, which caused large companies to suspend their activities in the Islamic Republic. He added that while major companies left Iran due to concerns over US sanctions, small and medium sized companies that have no connection to the US are still working with Iran.

According to him, some 3,000 Spanish SMEs are currently doing business with Iran.

Araghchi maintained that what these companies need is a “financial channel for transactions”. He said Iran's crude sales and banking transactions will be affected under the sanctions, but not at the level that the United States had wanted. He stressed that the sanctions will not change Iran’s policies.

The previous US government imposed far stronger sanctions, he said, but in the end even they were forced to sit at the negotiating table with Iran.

President Trump continues a failed experience, said Araghchi, maintaining that while the US is an “economic power”, it is “politically isolated”.

He said soon Trump would come to the same conclusion that sanctions would not work against Iran.

Asked whether Iran is going to increase the number of its centrifuges, Araghchi said without a nuclear agreement, there will be no limitations, but stressed that Iran’s nuclear program will always remain peaceful. He added that Iran used to have first-generation centrifuges, but now it has third and fourth generations. Araghchi stressed that Iran does not want to reach a point of tension.

MS/IRN83103200

News Code 139694

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