Iran says new EU sanctions are meaningless
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran condemned on Tuesday new sanctions imposed on it by the European Union and made clear they would not slow Tehran's nuclear activities, an Iranian news agency reported.
EU states agreed the new sanctions on Monday, including an asset freeze on Iran's biggest bank, following its refusal to meet demands to curb its nuclear program. Western powers suspects Iran wants to make nuclear arms but Tehran denies this.
"Such illegal and paradoxical behavior .... is meaningless and strongly condemned," the Fars News Agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini as saying.
Hosseini said it would not have any effect on Iran's determination to obtain nuclear technology and would not help create the "appropriate atmosphere to resolve the issue through diplomatic channels."
He was referring to separate proposals put forward by Iran and by six world powers intended to defuse a long-running dispute that has sparked fears of military confrontation and helped push up oil prices to record highs.
The new EU sanctions are the latest attempt by the West to put pressure on Iran over the nuclear issue and will target businesses and individuals the West alleges are linked to its nuclear and ballistic programs.
(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Timothy Heritage)