Iran: Sanctions make negotiations more difficult

Ahmadinejad says Iran always "willing to negotiate and cooperate," but West more interested in confrontation.

November 27, 2011 01:50
2 minute read.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad scolds child 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that new sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by the US and other western nations make the prospect of negotiations on Tehran's nuclear program "more difficult," AFP reported.

"They vote on resolutions, impose sanctions, use all the tools against us, and they want us to negotiate," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on Iranian television.

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"We have always said we are willing to negotiate and cooperate. Negotiations are worth more than confrontation, but it seems [western nations] don't understand this and always return to confrontation," he added.

The United States, Britain and Canada announced new sanctions on Iran's energy and financial sectors last week and the European Union followed suit the next day in a concerted effort to pressure Tehran to halt its nuclear program.

Britain banned all transactions with the Central Bank of Iran; France and the Netherlands have called for similar action. The move has rattled politicians in Iran where some lawmakers have called for the expulsion of the British ambassador.

"They have said 'we should cut relations with the central bank and block the money of the Iranian people'," Ahmadinejad said after the announcement of the sanctions, accusing Western countries of wanting to plunder Iranian bank accounts abroad to ease their own economic crises.

"Any expropriation of the Iranian people's foreign exchange reserves is considered major theft and the Iranian people will treat those who do this as thieves," he told a large crowd gathered at an outdoor venue near Tehran.

The latest sanctions were prompted by a UN nuclear watchdog report that suggested Iran has worked on an atomic bomb design. Tehran maintains its nuclear work is entirely peaceful and said the report was based on false Western intelligence.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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