Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the sanctions that the UN has imposed on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program have had no effect on the country's economy.

In a live television address on Tuesday night, President Ahmadinejad downplayed the sanctions and stated that Iran's economy is flourishing. 

The Iranian president said that in the modern world, where economies are so competitive, such punitive measures are pointless. 

He went on to say that the sanctions imposed on the country may have caused prices to increase in a few cases, but they will decrease in the near future. 

Ahmadinejad noted that these sanctions will eventually benefit the national economy, since Iran has attained self-sufficiency in many areas. 

In June 2010, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of US-engineered sanctions on Iran's financial and military sectors. 

Washington and its European allies have also imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran's energy sector. 
Iran says that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it has the right to access nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes. Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad referred to the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States, and Germany — and reiterated that the Islamic Republic is always ready for talks. 

However, he stated that the dialogue should lead to positive results rather than hostility, saying, "We want negotiations for cooperation and friendship and not increasing enmity." 

He called for more talks, and said, "It is not realistic to expect tangible results over the short term because the issue is very complicated and requires more time and negotiations." 

Visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reportedly said Turkey is ready to host a new round of talks in Istanbul. 

Ahmadinejad also lauded Iranians for their cooperation in implementing the subsidy reform law. 

The law allows the government to gradually slash energy subsidies over the course of five years, with low-income families being compensated with direct cash handouts. 

The Iranian president also said the government would deposit the second installment of the payments into people's accounts by March 20. source

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