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Iran warns EU on sanctions

Atul Aneja


We will hit back, says Tehran

Russia slams imposition of more curbs


DUBAI: Iran has warned the European Union (EU) not to pursue additional sanctions against Tehran as such a move will prove counterproductive.

“If the enemies dare to hurl stones at us, they should be watchful that the soil of Iran will go into their eyes,” said Speaker of Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, a former chief negotiator on the nuclear issue.

On Thursday, the EU approved sanctions that target Iran's key energy sector, particularly refining and natural gas. Iran is a leading exporter of crude but lacks adequate refining capability. The new sanctions could be enforced in the next few weeks, EU officials were quoted as saying.

Mr. Larijani counselled the Europeans to “be vigilant” and not to be trapped by the “old tricks” of the United States and Israel, IRNA reported. He warned that Iran would retaliate if the EU imposed fresh sanctions.

The EU's decision has opened cracks within the ranks of Security Council members, which last week approved fresh sanctions against Iran, which do not target Tehran's energy sector. On Thursday, Russia slammed the U.S. and EU for imposing sanctions beyond the latest list approved by the United Nations Security Council. “We are extremely disappointed that neither the United States nor the European Union is heeding our calls to refrain from such steps,” Interfax and Itar-Tass news agencies news quoted Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister as saying. Mr. Ryabkov warned that the proposed unilateral sanctions “are not just harmful, they undermine the very foundation of our joint work with our partners in the sextet and the Security Council”.

The sextet refers to the five permanent Security Council members and Germany.

“We are drawing certain conclusions from this, including about the prospects for joint work” within the U.N. Security Council and the sextet, Mr. Ryabkov asserted.

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