DUBAI - Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that US sanctions imposed this week as part of a broader effort to force Tehran to scrap sensitive nuclear work were aimed at "creating tension" in the Islamic state ahead of June presidential elections.
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Washington imposed sanctions on Iran's main agency in charge of broadcasting on Wednesday for helping the government censor Western reports, and targeted Iran's oil earnings in an effort to prevent funds being used on its disputed atomic program.
The West believes Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons but Iran maintains its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
"The new round of sanctions ... are designed to put pressure on the nation and to create a gap between the (Iranian) nation and government," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.