Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili has cautioned against persisting US-led sanctions on Tehran, stressing that sanctions will have a “negative impact” on Europe as well as Iran.
“Today Europeans are paying a cost which they do not deserve to pay. They are missing out on opportunities and possibilities and that will have a negative effect on their economic situation,” Jalili said in an interview with Euronews following the latest round of multifaceted talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers in Istanbul.
“Today the Islamic Republic of Iran has a good export capacity for European Union member states, mostly in energy and oil sectors, and Europe is missing out as well on the Iranian market, which serves 70 million people,” he added.
If those 70 million were able to purchase European goods, Europe’s economy would certainly benefit from it, the SNSC secretary pointed out.
He said that sanctions, especially those imposed on Iran’s banking sector, were blocking great potentials for the Islamic Republic to import from European countries.
Jalili emphasized that Europeans are paying the price through thousands of lost job opportunities.
The US, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have accused Tehran, without any credible proof, of considering a non-civilian diversion in its nuclear energy program.
The US and the European Union have used the pretext to impose international and unilateral sanctions against Iran.
On January 23, EU foreign ministers met in Belgium and approved sanctions against Iran aimed at banning member countries from importing Iranian crude oil and carrying out transactions with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
The EU’s decision followed the imposition of similar sanctions by Washington on Iranian energy and financial sectors on New Year’s Eve.
Iran refutes the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful use.
Jalili also pointed to Saturday talks between Iran and the P5+1 nations - China, Russia, France, Britain, the US plus Germany - and said that 15 months ago in Istanbul he had expressed Iran’s willingness to continue talks immediately.
“We believe the talks should be shaped based on a platform of cooperation. Now the other side appears ready for such an approach and we welcome that,” Iran’s chief negotiator stated.
Iran and the P5+1 wrapped up their negotiations on Saturday in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Both sides hailed the talks as successful and constructive.
The Iranian delegation was headed by the SNSC secretary while the delegations of the six global powers were led by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The next round of talks between the two parties is to be held on May 3 in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.