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
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.
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.
"In the remaining time to the
(presidential) election, they want to create tension, crisis and
instability in the country by imposing great pressure," he added.
Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, on Thursday rebuffed a US offer
of direct talks, saying Iran would not be intimidated by pressure or
the threat of military action.