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‘No Sense’ in U.S. Nuclear Diatribe, ‘Sacrificing Interests for Israel’

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28 Apr 09 | PTV

Iran says US threats of tougher sanctions “do not make sense” if the Obama administration really seeks “a new beginning” with the country.

The US officialdom, in the past few weeks, have warned Iran of uncompromising sanctions and financial restrictions should it refuse to abandon its low-level nuclear activities.

Iranian Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini responded to the threats on Tuesday, asserting that imposing trade-related embargoes on Tehran would be an “illogical” game plan that would harm both Iranians and Americans.

“The Iranian and American people have a right to engage in business activities with each other,” said Hosseini, adding that US threats of tougher sanctions on Iran over its uranium enrichment do not signal a change in Washington’s sense of proportion.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave Iran a blunt ultimatum in her first congressional testimony on US foreign policy, saying the country would face “tight and crippling sanctions” if it carries on with its uranium enrichment activities.

A bipartisan slate of US senators and lawmakers, meanwhile, have opted to put an end to Iran’s nuclear work by targeting the country’s gasoline trade.

The American lawmakers have introduced a bill which lobbies for tough sanctions against countries that sell refined petroleum, including gasoline, to Iran.

According to US estimates, Iran depends on gasoline trade to meet 40 percent of its domestic demand, most of which comes from five European firms and one Indian company.

“Limiting Iran’s access to essential energy supplies could aid US diplomatic efforts to achieve concessions from the Iranian government regarding its nuclear operations,” said Lieberman in a joint statement with Republican Senator Jon Kyl and Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, who co-authored the legislation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, in a Monday interview with Euronews, warned against a Western embargo on Iran’s gas and petrol trade. “If they go to decide in such decision, they will see our reaction,” he said.

Western countries accuse Iran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of amassing weapons-grade uranium. Iran has rejected the allegations, asserting that it only enriches low-grade uranium to generate electricity.

The UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has enriches uranium-235 to a level of “less than 5 percent”. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.

‘West sacrificing interests for Israel’

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi has advised the West against sacrificing its interests in the Middle East for Israel.

“The Western view of the Middle East and the Zionist regime is completely ideological, but the question is how much more of their interests should they sacrifice for the regime’s ambitions,” Qashqavi said on Tuesday.

Speaking at Tehran’s prestigious Khajeh Nasir Toosi University, Qashqavi advised the West to adopt a realistic approach toward the Middle East.

“From millions of miles away they speculate about the Middle East and expect us, the people who live in this region, to not even talk about Palestine. What sort of reasoning is this?,” he asked.

Israel’s allies in a UN conference on racism in Geneva last week demonstrated their unconditional support for Israel, when at the first mention of Tel Aviv several EU delegatees walked out of the session.

During the conference President Ahmadinejad called Israel “the most cruel and repressive racist regime.”

He also criticized the West for its unconditional support of Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine and the Middle East.

“It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defending those racist perpetrators of genocide while the awakened-conscience and free-minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and the bombardment of civilians in Gaza,” he said.

Israel waged war on Gaza on December 27. Three weeks of ensuing airstrikes and a ground incursion inflicted more than $1.6 billion in damages on the Gazan economy.

The offensive left around 1,350 Palestinians dead and nearly 5,450 others injured. The casualties were mostly civilian.

Tel Aviv continues to enforce a crippling blockade on Gaza and prevents necessary humanitarian aid and assistance from reaching the 1.5 million people trapped inside the strip.

US says Ross not en route to Iran

The US State Department denies that special advisor for the Persian Gulf Dennis Ross, who is planning a trip to the region, will meet with Iranian officials.

Ross will travel to the Middle East, beginning April 28, to discuss with Persian Gulf leaders “issues of mutual and regional concern”, according to a statement released by the US State Department.

Media reports suggest that he will discuss the disputed issue of Iran’s nuclear program with the Arabs.

Iran says its nuclear program is directed at the civilian applications of the technology. The West, however, accuses the country of seeking nuclear weaponry.

A report by RIA Novosti claimed that the State Department was weighing its options whether to send Ross, accompanied by NSC Senior Director Puneet Talwar and CENTCOM Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. John Allen, to Iran to discuss the nuclear issue.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood, however, denied having such intentions.

“We are not there yet,” he said at a daily press briefing on Monday.

Ross’s itinerary currently includes stops at Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt.

His trip comes at a time when the US and Iran are inching toward reviewing their strained ties, which were severed nearly three decades ago.



Written by Editors

28 April 2009 at 1:05 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] ‘No Sense’ in U.S. Nuclear Diatribe, ‘Sacrificing Interests for Israel’ (28 Apr 09) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Has Ahmadinejad Softened His Position on Israel?Does Ahmadinejad Speak for Iran?Ahmadinejad’s Own Goal […]

  2. […] ‘No Sense’ in U.S. Nuclear Diatribe, ‘Sacrificing Interests for Israel’ (28 Apr 09) […]

  3. […] ‘No Sense’ in U.S. Nuclear Diatribe, ‘Sacrificing Interests for Israel’ (28 Apr 09) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Lieberman: Israel Will Not Attack Iran, U.S. Responsible for Iran […]

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